Members of the Brac community recently took part in a training exercise that will help the island deal with a potential mass casualty incident.
According to a press release, 20 people in Cayman Brac received training in mass casualty management at a course sponsored by the Pan American Health Organization and Hazard Management Cayman Islands.
The course ran between Nov. 7 and Nov. 11.
“… This is now the third time the Cayman Islands has rolled out the mass casualty management training with a team of local instructors,” said Hazard Management awareness and communications officer Simon Boxall, the course coordinator.
A mass casualty incident is any event resulting in a number of victims large enough to disrupt the normal course of emergency healthcare services, according to the press release. For example, it could be a major fire, an accident on a dive boat or a situation involving aircraft.
Ian Yearwood of the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service, Shane Brown of the Cayman Islands Emergency Medical Services Cayman Brac and An
drew McLaughlin of the Cayman Islands Airports Authority conducted the course, with assistance from Charmaine Coore, a registered nurse from Cayman Brac. The Pan American Health Organization also sent instructor trainer Peter Burgess to oversee the program.
Some of the areas covered in the training included emergency medicine, the organization of advanced medical posts, psychosocial care, management of fatalities, division of roles and responsibilities, and tasks of the first responders.
Participants included representatives from the Department of Environmental Health, Port Authority, first responders such as police, firefighters and healthcare workers, and volunteers from the Red Cross.
“We need to maintain a state of maximum readiness for a major incident, and this training improves our preparedness and response capacity in the Brac,” said Mr. Boxall.
“It is important that we have pre-established procedures in place for rescue mobilization, incident site management and hospital reception in the event that we face a big emergency situation, especially those involving multiple victims and a multi-agency response.
“It is especially important for Cayman Brac which, due to its size and relatively small population, faces some unique challenges. With only one doctor and two nurses typically on duty, a collision between two motor vehicles carrying passengers could even be regarded as a mass casualty event,” he said. “A multi-car accident would put a significant strain on the island’s ability to respond, and if we don’t practice before we face a major incident it could easily overwhelm us.
“This course prepares us to provide prompt and appropriate assistance to victims. It will help to minimize injuries and prioritize the victims so the most critical receive the most immediate medical attention.”