First responders to receive disaster training

| 04/04/2019
CNS Local Life
First responders help a “victim” at previous exercise (CLICK TO ENLARGE)

(CNS Local Life): The University College of the Cayman Islands is going to be the scene of a ‘mass casualty event’ to ensure Cayman’s first responders and related agencies will be prepared in case an actual disaster strikes. From 8-12 April, about 30 people will receive training in mass casualty management (MCM), in a course sponsored by the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) and Hazard Management Cayman Islands (HMCI).

“A mass casualty incident is any event resulting in a number of victims large enough to disrupt the normal course of emergency health care services,” explained HCMI Director Danielle Coleman in a press release. “This could be a situation such as a major fire, a multi-car traffic accident, earthquake or a plane crash. Some of the subject areas covered in the training include emergency medicine, the organisation of advanced medical posts, psychosocial care, the management of dead bodies, division of roles and responsibilities, and tasks of the first responders.”

Minister for Home Affairs Tara Rivers stressed the importance of being prepared for any emergency. “Fortunately, these types of mass casualty situations happen rarely in the Cayman Islands but we have to ensure that when they do happen that we get out response right,” she said.

“It is likely that in a major incident several different response agencies will be working together and that adds complexity. If we don’t practise before we face a major incident it could easily overwhelm us, and this course makes us better prepared to provide prompt and appropriate assistance to victims, it will help us to minimise injuries and prioritise the victims so the most critical receive the most immediate medical attention.”

This year there will be five newly trained local PAHO instructors assisting with the training, supported by experienced local instructors including Detective Chief Inspector Richard Barrow, Inspector Ian Yearwood, Deputy Commandant of the Cayman Islands Cadet Corps Ricardo Henry and Andrew McLaughlin, Chief Safety Officer at the Cayman Islands Airports Authority.

Joining this group will be PAHO Emergency Response Facilitator Peter Burgess, who delivers PAHO training courses throughout the Caribbean. Burgess has delivered a range of courses to Cayman’s first responders over the years, including emergency care and treatment, incident command systems and mass casualty management.

Among the people attending the course will be medical staff from the Health Services Authority; senior police, fire and prison officers; and staff from other agencies including the Port Authority, the Department of Public Safety Communications and the Department of Environmental Health.

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Category: Civil Service, Community, Fire Service, Police, Prison Service

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  1. Anonymous says:

    What are they going to do if mass casualties would stem from the major, uncontrollable Dump fire(s). Did they at least stockpile respirators and designate air tight shelters?