Government agencies receive mass-casualty training

About 40 people in Grand Cayman are receiving training in mass-casualty management and incident command systems this week, according to Hazard Management Cayman Islands.

The courses are sponsored by Hazard Management and the Pan American Health Organization. Participants in the training include representatives from the Health Services Authority, the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service, the Cayman Islands Fire Service, the Department of Environmental Health, the Port Authority and volunteers from the Red Cross.

The mass-casualty training focuses on procedures for rescue mobilization, incident site management and hospital reception in the event of an emergency situation. Hazard Management defined a mass-casualty incident as “any event resulting in a number of victims large enough to disrupt the normal course of emergency healthcare services.”

“This could be a situation such as a major fire, a multi-car traffic accident or a plane crash,” said Hazard Management Director Danielle Coleman. “Some of the subject areas covered in the training include emergency medicine, the organization of advanced medical posts, psychosocial care, the management of dead bodies, division of roles and responsibilities and tasks of the first responders.”

The incident command systems training course is a separate component and covers the structure, functions and responsibilities of managing incident sites and coordinating a multiple-agency response to an incident.

“A multi-agency response is much more complex, as agencies need to work together in a unified manner, despite having their own hierarchy and their own way of doing things,” Ms. Coleman explained. “If we don’t cooperate and work together, the response is going to be inefficient and chaotic.”

Local instructors include officers from the RCIPS, Hazard Management and the Cayman Islands Airports Authority. The training started on Monday and culminates in an overnight exercise at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex which begins Friday evening.