Training sessions last week.
Emergency service personnel working together.
COLE BAY–National emergency services, Fire Department, Police Force and Ambulance Department completed several days of multi-agency training sessions recently. The sessions took place at several locations in Cole Bay, and scenarios had the services depend on each other to manage an incident successfully.
The Fire Department, Police Force and Ambulance Department intensified their joint training to continue to develop their professional capabilities and relationships. A key aspect is communication and understanding the procedures of the different entities.
The emergency departments also held exercises in the St. John’s neighbourhood in January where an incident was staged by the training staff with a car accident and the possibility existed that one of the vehicles and its occupants were had just been involved in a robbery.
The emergency services are holding joint operational exercises to test their current operational levels and to increase their knowledge, skills and ability in working together. As the training scenarios grow in complexity, the amount of action needs proper joint coordination, also known as Incident Command, which is essential in an emergency situation.
All participants are trained in the Incident Command system, which is also part of the execution of the St. Maarten Disaster Plan. Particular measures, but also protocol, have to be followed during these drills. After the police secure the scene, the Fire Department ensures scene safety and the Ambulance personnel decide on the care for the wounded persons. The Fire Department extricates persons who are stuck inside a vehicle.
A smooth operation was secured by the on-duty officer of every emergency service when meeting regularly and taking decisions together. The emergency personnel communicated with each other and the persons they came to care for.
There were several extraordinary circumstances during the “mock” operation, like a protest activity by a crowd of people. The Ambulance Department had to deal with not only safety issues and the accident, but also unruly persons who wanted to interfere in one way or the other with the work of medical technicians. A multi-scenario event trains the services to anticipate and follow protocol for possible escalation of emergencies.
The training staff consists of representatives of each of the three national emergency service departments. “By going through these scenarios with as much personnel as possible, we are better able to practise and better operate when a real event happens. We get to adjust and fine-tune protocols where these incidents are concerned and to work together like a well-oiled machine,” was the main comment of the training staff.
The exercises will continue throughout the year and will be part of the annual Hurricane Exercise HUREX. The emergency services will train for several different types of major incidents where they would need to depend on each other and, in so doing, they will be better prepared when disaster strikes.
The public is asked to be aware of the emergency services doing their exercise drills throughout neighbourhoods across the country in the coming months and to be as helpful and cooperative as possible should they come across an exercise in progress.
The department heads of these emergency services are very pleased with the ongoing trainings that will better prepare their on-duty officers and further enhance cooperation amongst these services.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/86151-emergency-services-hold-training-sessions