St Helena : Joint Agency Disaster Management Live Exercise Jamestown
Submitted by Saint Helena Herald (Juanita Brock) 06.02.2012 (Article Archived on 20.02.2012)
Police Directorate: including police, fire and sea rescue officers, joined together with staff from the Health and Social Welfare Directorate: including doctors, nurses, ambulance and other hospital workers, to take part in a Disaster Management Exercise.
Joint Agency Disaster Management Live Exercise
Jamestown Friday 27th January 2012
On Friday 27th January 2012 staff from Police Directorate: including police, fire and sea rescue officers, joined together with staff from the Health and Social Welfare Directorate: including doctors, nurses, ambulance and other hospital workers, to take part in a Disaster Management Exercise.
The exercise scenario was a marine accident involving collision and fire on two tender boats ferrying passengers from a cruise ship in James Bay to the wharf steps. There were a number of casualties in the sea requiring rescue and a fire on the tender (Mike boat) which needed to be extinguished and its passengers/casualties also rescued. Over 20 casualty players (volunteers) took part and they were medically assessed as part of the triage process and taken for medical treatment with a number of uninjured people in distress who required care.
The exercise was designed to specifically test the arrangements and procedures contained in the Police Directorate Disaster Management Plan (DMP) whilst having regard to a working harbour area and the need to operate with minimal disruption to normal daily business. Control of the exercise and its players was be carried out by a small team of directing staff who had absolute authority for health & safety purposes.
Peter Coll, the Chief of Police and Disaster Management Co-ordinator for St Helena said – “The exercise went extremely well for the purpose of testing our joint agency emergency procedures and how we come together in an emergency. Our staff showed good competence and as always there was some good learning about things we can do better to improve in the future. Obviously, an exercise of this scale involved significant resources and I am very grateful for the services of Solomon’s and our harbour authorities as well as the dive team and of course the Salvation Army who as usual provided excellent resources and assistance to the operation. The hot debrief on Friday was very useful to elicit the immediate feedback, particularly from the volunteers who took part. We will be reviewing our plans in line with all the information from the specific team debriefs which are still being compiled”
Director of Health & Social Welfare Carol George said” This was a very successful exercise for our staff. Our Senior Medical Officer Dr Bloem was present at the wharf area to provide feedback concerning the initial reception of casualties and I was present overseeing the hospital procedures. Overall, there were some areas that we can improve upon, but generally I was very pleased with the ability of our staff to manage emergency care in this scenario.”
Director of Police
Director of Health & Social Welfare