■Helping Elevate the Riding Skills of Disaster Response Teams
Members of SCOUT, Shizuoka City's off-road motorcycle team, were dispatched to help with the recovery efforts following the Great East Japan Earthquake in March 2011.
Yamaha Motor's involvement in disaster and rescue efforts is not limited to just providing technologies and products. The Yamaha Riding Academy (YRA) is a riding safety program run worldwide by Yamaha Motor and its experienced personnel and instructional know-how are put to use by providing training to improve the riding skills of motorcycle-based disaster response teams.
YRA instructors cooperate in holding joint training drills with SCOUT, the Japan Ground Self-Defense Forces, fire departments, and other bodies.
The Great East Japan Earthquake that struck in 2011 was an unprecedented disaster that claimed the lives of over 15,000 people and more than 2,500 people remain missing. SCOUT is Shizuoka City's off-road motorcycle unit, which takes advantage of bikes' innate mobility to gather information from the ground at disaster sites. The team is composed of city employees and their duties include not only preparing for disasters that may hit their own city but they were also deployed to areas hit by the aforementioned 2011 disaster and the Kumamoto earthquakes in 2016, where they assisted with various relief efforts.
However, to be able to put that mobility to full use when an emergency occurs, regular training and preparation is key. Having the riding skills to safely navigate roads littered with debris is a given, but so is having the knowledge for properly using rescue equipment in the field, as well as skills for performing motorcycle maintenance and repairs. We cooperate by dispatching YRA instructors to help hold training drills so that members can acquire such know-how and improve their skills.
｜Field-Born｜Vol. 7 - Protectors and Preparation
Message from the Editor
The usefulness of motorcycles during disasters in Japan became apparent after the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake in 1995. Volunteer riders from all over the country rushed to the area, making use of motorcycles' mobility amidst broken roads and traffic jams to help collect information and transport supplies throughout the disaster-stricken areas. The media coverage of their efforts shot the public's view of motorcycles upwards, and much like SCOUT, many disaster response motorcycle units were formed all across Japan following this event. In the "Raising Public Awareness of Disaster Risk Reduction" section of the government's White Paper on Disaster Management (2023 edition), disaster preparedness-which rose immediately after the Great East Japan Earthquake-has been on a downward trend over the 12 years since. Yamaha Motor has proposed a new approach to disaster readiness called "Prep through Play," in which people use our products for everyday fun in ways that also prepare them for emergencies. Being used to using equipment for disasters and networking on a regular basis is sure to come in handy should they ever actually be needed. Now is as good a time as any to reassess your own preparedness for disasters with your family and community.
TOKUTOME, Yayoi■Contact us from the Press
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