Disaster Groups in St. Thomas to Benefit from Mass Casualty Management Course


At least 35 persons from various disaster groups and agencies in St. Thomas are slated to benefit from a training course in Mass Casualty Management.
The six-day training course, which will be held from December 1 to 6, is being organised by the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM), in collaboration with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the St. Thomas Parish Council. The training will take place on the grounds of the Morant Bay Infirmary.
Topics to be covered over the first four days of the training include medical care, first aid, lifting and carrying of patients, communication, establishing an incident command system, and search and rescue operations, while a simulation exercise will be held over the remaining two days. Certified instructors from PAHO will conduct the training.
Senior Director, Preparedness and Emergency Operations at ODPEM, Horace Glaze, told JIS News, that the training was organised to increase the level of awareness as it related to mass casualty situations.
“It is to prepare persons as to how to respond in such cases and to look at the various techniques and to see how best the agencies could work together to produce an effective response in any situation,” he said, noting that first responders must be prepared and equipped to deal with mass casualties in the event of a disaster.
“One of the biggest challenges that we face is the lack of resources as it relates to equipment. That, in itself, will pose a challenge, but at least the individual responders will be prepared in terms of their skills that are needed and how best to work together,” he said.
Participants attending the course will be drawn from the police, the fire brigade, the parish council, St. Thomas Health Department, ODPEM, National Works Agency and disaster groups.

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