Regional Fire Dept. hosts 15th annual friendship dinner
TOKYO – Commander Navy Region Japan’s (CNRJ) Regional Fire Department hosted its 15th annual friendship dinner at the New Sanno Hotel Sept. 28.
The Regional Fire Department hosted the 15th annual dinner to recognize and thank its staff and mutual aid partners for their continued support to Navy installations throughout Japan. This year’s theme was “Friendship and Introduction”.
Event coordinator and CNRJ Deputy Fire Chief Gifton Lawrence says this year’s dinner was a great opportunity for the emergency professionals to come together and make new contacts to help better coordinate the combined efforts needed to effectively protect both community and CNRJ people and property.
This year’s dinner brought in 249 emergency service professionals, to include the Commissioner of the Japan’s Federal Disaster Management Agency, Mr. Hiromi Okazaki. His position is similar to that of the United State’s director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA.
“It is very significant and important for the U.S. Armed Forces in Japan, and the cities, towns and villages in the region to exchange friendship, and deepen understandings with each other, especially the Fire and Emergency Services organizations on both sides that have the common target of saving lives and property,” said Okazaki.
“As Commissioner of the Fire and Disaster Management Agency, I will devote myself to developing Fire & Emergency Services activities in Japan and, I will promote the interchange with the United States Armed Forces,” continued Okazaki.
CNRJ Regional Fire Chief Russell Tarver also expressed his enthusiasm for the event.
“This friendship dinner gives the regional, community and base emergency response branch personnel a unique opportunity to come together in one setting and share ideas on how we can better support each other through joint drills and training, and I believe the benefits of this collaboration can be seen by our improved disaster response capabilities,” said Tarver.
The dinner also provided Tarver and the Regional Fire Department an opportunity to thank the Tokyo, Yokohama and other district branches for their continued support to U.S. installations in the region.
“Without the support of our regional Japanese counterparts we wouldn’t be as prepared to combat emergency situations. It’s really great to have the opportunity to come together and solidify this vital partnership,” said Tarver.
The dinner’s guest speaker, Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Japan and Navy Region Japan Rear Adm. Dan Cloyd, expressed his gratitude for the services emergency response professionals provide to both on and off installation communities all over Japan.
“What you all share, and what I humbly and respectfully believe makes all of you so very special, is your close teamwork and your shared passion for what you do - which is save precious lives,” Cloyd said in a speech to the attendees. “Through your combined efforts, and superb teamwork, the Fire and Emergency Services organizations both on base and off, are much better prepared to combat any unfortunate emergency or disaster that may happen,” he concluded.