Crisis Information System Training
Published 4th October 2018, 9:24am
Hazard Management Cayman Islands (HMCI), recently completed a three-day training event in the crisis management software WebEOC, which is used for managing information in a National Emergency Operations Centre activation.
“It is really important that everyone in the National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) feels really comfortable using this technology,” explained HMCI’s Director Danielle Coleman. “At the end of the day WebEOC is nothing more than a tool to make our information gathering and sharing process more efficient. It can assist us greatly in a crisis by providing a full picture of what is happening. For example if a tree falls over and blocks a road in a hurricane this may be a task for the National Roads Authority to deal with, but it may also affect the operations of the Police Service, or ambulance crews, and it could hamper search and rescue operations and so on.”
Director Coleman said with WebEOC, officials are able to see what is happening during an incident so missions can be prioritised, as well as what tasks have been actioned, what areas still need to be dealt with and a good sense of how things impact a whole spectrum of decisions and response actions.
“Another example of this might be a large fire where the Cayman Islands Fire Service is the primary responder; it is possible that in such a situation there may be evacuations, road closures, hospital workers deployed to the location, media releases issued, shelters opened, ambulance operations, Red Cross and CERT volunteers deployed and a whole range of other response decisions being made,” Director Coleman added. “WebEOC is the platform we use to help gather and share all the information about the missions and tasks, and we then use that information to make informed decisions that result in a coordinated and efficient response.”
The recent training was provided to approx. 50 individuals from a range of Government agencies and Non-Governmental Organisations. Another 10 persons went through a more thorough WebEOC training course which enables them to train other WebEOC users. Going forward these 10 local instructors will conduct end user trainings for NEOC staff on a quarterly basis, which, coupled with an increase in the number of annual practice activations, will ensure a high level of proficiency with the crisis management tool.