John Holland is a Director of RAPID-International and the founder of the highly successful RAPID-UK.
John, a former paratrooper, has spent his career within the military and emergency services sector. He has over 30 years experience with the Fire Service and is currently a Fire Safety specialist and Project Manager. John has also spent 29 years in the voluntary disaster response field, predominately in search and rescue, and has responded to many of the world's major disasters since the late 1980s. In his role of Operations Director, he has been responsible for team deployment around the world, including to Russia, Iran, Philippines, Japan, Turkey, Taiwan, Colombia, Pakistan, India, Peru, Indonesia, Mozambique, Honduras and Rwanda.
John believes strongly in, and is passionate about, the need to build on disaster prone countries resilience at government and community levels. Much of the focus of RAPID's work, therefore, is the delivery of projects such as working with local governments sharing knowledge, training and advice, or delivering micro projects in vulnerable communities to enhance their capabilities at grass roots level.
In addition, he has helped to develop and train search and rescue teams in various parts of the world; many of those teams that have been trained have since responded to disaster and terrorist activity in their own countries and across borders.
RAPID has also helped develop cultural boundaries in some Middle Eastern countries by bringing female members in to be an integral part of the SAR teams, which has proven valuable in many situations and was a first in some countries.
John has committed many years of voluntary work around his full time job. He has also completed the Cranfield Disaster Management course and the Disaster Management trainer of trainers at Oxford University, along with other various disaster management and SAR courses. Working with many governments and organisations around the world, John and RAPID have received many accolades from various quarters for their approach and professionalism, as well as being invited to many seminars and global events as a guest speaker.
Rescue And Preparedness In Disasters (RAPID) was established to meet the need of preparedness in disaster prone countries and also tailor an individual response to disaster when required. RAPID-International is manned by volunteers who have many years experience in disaster response, assessment and project delivery. RAPID also maintains a refined response capability to meet the changing response environment through RAPID-UK, which now sits under the umbrella of RAPID-International.