URALSK, Western Kazakhstan oblast, May 1, 2001 -- Karachaganak Integrated Organization (KIO) is pleased to announce that the partnership on establishing of a world-class Emergency Response Training Center between KIO, Western Kazakhstan State University (WKSU), and the Texas A&M University System's Emergency Services Training Institute (ESTI) is beginning to take shape.

On May 1, Rick Tye and Jim Sachtleben, Texas A&M University System representatives of ESTI arrived in Uralsk to discuss a number of issues regarding the co-operation with WKSU, in particular training courses in Hose Handling, Hand-Held Fire Extinguishers, Emergency Response Incident Commander and Emergency Responder Training for 2002.

According to Mr Sachtleben, within the framework of this project a number of selected employees of WKSU will visit Texas A&M University for a familiarization session and to receive practical skills with ESTI.

Fire-fighting and emergency response in the field, life rescue and environmental protection are issues of vital importance. Kazakhstan has little experience in performing these operations and therefore, training specialists of this kind is a challenge. The co-operation of this nature and the establishment of the Training Centre contributes not only to cultural exchange between the two countries, but it will also have a positive effect on making Western Kazakhstan a regional leader among the countries of Central Asia and Russia in training professional rescuers and fire-fighters, as there is no other training centre of this kind in this part of the world.

It is also expected that the opening of the world-class Emergency Response Training Centre will bring benefits both to WKSU and the region as a whole as it to enhance the reputation of the University and is to play a significant part in the development of the region’s social infrastructure, technology transfer, training and provide long-term jobs for many Kazakhstan citizens.