Hazard Management Cayman Islands and the Pan American Health Organization are working together to improve the disaster response capacity in the Cayman Islands.
From 16-28 February, approximately 90 individuals will receive training in Mass Casualty Management, Emergency Care and Treatment and also Incident Command Systems.
Participants include first responders such as police officers, fire fighters, health care workers as well as volunteer agencies such as the Red Cross, Adventist Development and Relief Agency and the District Emergency Response Committees.
‘Some of the skills that will be taught in the training sessions will not be entirely new to some of the participants, but have already been put into practice in past disaster drills and exercises, such as the simulated plane crash on Shamrock Road,’ said HMCI Deputy Director Omar Afflick.
‘However, the country must always maintain a state of maximum readiness for a major incident and this training will seek to improve the country’s overall preparedness and response capacity.’
The Mass Casualty Management training is designed to ensure prompt and appropriate assistance to victims of disasters, minimizing injuries and ensuring that the most critical receive immediate medical attention.
Some of the subjects areas to be covered include: emergency medicine, the organization of advanced medical posts, psychosocial care, management of dead bodies, division of roles, and responsibilities and tasks of the first responders.
‘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,’ said Mr. Afflick.
‘For example we could be looking at an emergency on a large scale following a situation such as an earthquake or a major fire, or perhaps something like a multi-car traffic accident. It is important to have pre-established procedures in place for rescue mobilization, incident site management and hospital reception to meet any specific challenges we face here in Cayman.’
The Emergency Care and Treatment course will cover the medical response component.
For example, when an ambulance crew arrives at a location where there have been a large number of casualties, they need to be ready to handle the victims in an appropriate way to reduce any further injuries and prepare them for transport to the medical facility.
The Incident Command Systems course will cover the structure, functions and responsibilities of managing incident sites, responding to complex incidents and most importantly coordinating multiple agency response to an incident.
‘I think this one of the areas we can really improve on and we will benefit from this training with PAHO,’ said Mr. Afflick.
‘It has been articulated that there needs to be improvement in some operational areas in the field; so that during multiple agency responses, all responders are working in tandem and an agency (depending on the incident) will assume responsibility of Incident Commander. Indeed I think this is a good opportunity to tighten up our approach and make Cayman even better able to deal with a really serious situation, when it occurs.’
The HMCI/PAHO training will take place in the conference room at the George Town Hospital.
Personnel from the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service, the Cayman Islands Fire Service, the Health Services Association, the Departmen of Environmental Health, the Cayman Islands Airport Authority, the Adventist Development and Relief Agency, the Red Cross, the Port Authority, the Cadet Chorps, the Ministry of District Administration, Planning, Agriculture & Housing, and the Hazard Management Cayman Islands and the District Emergency Response Committees, will participate in the training sessions.