ODPEM Activating NEOC during CWC 2007

As part of its internal planning and activity for the ICC Cricket World Cup (CWC) 2007, the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM), will be activating the National Emergency Operation Centre (NEOC) on match days.
According to Cecil Bailey, Acting Deputy Director General of ODPEM, the function of the centre is to provide support for the co-ordination of the various activities that will take place on match days, in the event of a crisis and there is need for a quick response.
“So, on match days the National Emergency Operation Centre will be activated and we will have representation there from our partnering response agencies, like the fire brigade and the police.and we will have representation from the Local Organising Committee,” he explained.
He noted that the NEOC would provide support for the Venue Operations Centre, located at the various venues and Joint Operations Co-ordination Centre, which are the other entities responsible to co-ordinate all the resources for the smooth running of the ICC CWC 2007.
“There is multi agency representation in all of these areas and ODPEM will also be represented in these centres, to provide expertise in the event that an incident may occur, such as an earthquake or there is need for mass evacuation,” Mr. Bailey pointed out.
Plans are also in place to deal with events if they occur outside of Sabina Park and Trelawny multipurpose stadium. At the stadium in Trelawny, for example, where the opening ceremony will be held on March 11, the Parish Emergency Operation Centre will be activated to some extent, Mr. Bailey said.
“The centre will be on standby, because in the event of something happening, the quickest resources to bring to bear are located in the parish. So that parish co-ordinating mechanism is on standby,” he said, adding that the same situation would obtain in Kingston.
ODPEM’s co-ordinating mechanism will be also in place to put shelters on stream as quickly as possible. This, however, would depend on the nature of the event.
“In the instance of something happening at the venues you may need, depending on the numbers, to identify different shelters than what we would normally use, because there will be tourists involved,” Mr. Bailey said.
The Acting Deputy Director General said that overall, the agency’s preparation for ICC CWC 2007, involved very little that was new in terms of what was carried out during a hurricane. “ODPEM is applying all standard procedures to the CWC and treating it as an event. We do understand that there are some nuances that are different than how you respond to hurricanes, but we are bringing to bear our expertise,” he said, noting that relevant personnel at the organization have received event specific training.
“From where we sit, we will be able to meet whatever challenges may come our way, based on the availability of the resources that we have at hand. We are very prepared so to speak,” he said.
The centre will be based at the headquarters of ODPEM at 12 Camp Road.

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