Brackers Train in Incident Command Systems and Mass Casualty Management
Published 4th May 2012, 4:33pm
Between April 23rd and April 27th, 33 individuals in Cayman Brac received training at the Aston Rutty Centre in Mass Casualty Management (MCM) and Incident Command Systems (ICS). Hazard Management Cayman Islands (HMCI) sponsored the courses.
“We need to maintain a state of maximum readiness for a major incident and this training has certainly improved the Brac’s preparedness and response capacity,” explained HMCI Deputy Director Omar Afflick. “Three local trainers Charmaine Coore, Richard Barrow and Zaheer McLeod were in charge of presenting the course material and they did a fine job, we are pleased with how it went”
Charmaine Coore was one of the course trainers. She works as a Registered Nurse in the Sister Islands, “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. Miss Coore added that, “Because the Brac and Little Cayman are relatively small in terms of size and population we face some unique challenges; if we don’t practice before we face a major incident it could easily overwhelm us. This course makes us better prepared to provide prompt and appropriate assistance to victims, it will help us to minimize injuries and prioritize the victims so the most critical receive the most immediate medical attention.”
A Mass Casualty Incident is any event resulting in a number of victims large enough to disrupt the normal course of emergency health care services. For example, it could be a situation such as a major fire, or a multi-car traffic accident. Some of the subject areas covered in the training included: emergency medicine, the organization of advanced medical posts, psychosocial care, management of dead bodies, division of roles and responsibilities, and tasks of the first responders.
The Incident Command Systems (ICS) training covered the structure, functions and responsibilities of managing incident sites, responding to complex incidents and coordinating multiple agency response to an incident. Omar Afflick explained; "During multiple agency responses, responders must work together efficiently and interact well with one another. Depending on the type of incident, one particular agency assumes overall responsibility as the Incident Commander and they are then in charge of the response effort. Obviously this is different to more routine or normal response situations where an agency tends to do more or less their own thing. So for example, if there was a plane crash, you would likely have Fire Services, Police, Civil Aviation, HSA, forensic examiners, communicators and many other groups on the scene. It is clearly a complex situation and all these agencies need to work together despite having their own hierarchy and their own way of doing things. If they can’t cooperate and work together, the result is probably going to be inefficiency and chaos. So this course is important; it makes Cayman even better able to deal with a really serious situation, when it occurs."
Participants in the training included District Administration, Port Authority, first responders such as Police Officers, Fire Fighters, Health Care Workers as well as volunteer agencies such as the Red Cross. The courses were facilitated by a representative from the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) and jointly coordinated by Faith Hospital and District Administration. Four D’s Car Rental & Carib Sands Beach Resort also contributed to the success of the course.