Caribbean Re­gional Se­cu­rity, Health and Dis­as­ter Agen­cies face Com­pre­hen­sive Readi­ness Test

The Star (St. Lucia) - - REGIONAL -

Se­cu­rity, pub­lic health and dis­as­ter man­age­ment per­son­nel from across the Caribbean were put to the test as they par­tic­i­pated in a train­ing ex­er­cise aimed at im­prov­ing re­gional re­sponses dur­ing an emer­gency sit­u­a­tion.

The ex­er­cise, Syn­ergy 2017, pre­sented emer­gency sce­nar­ios that could oc­cur in the Caribbean re­gion. It took place on Jan­uary 11th and 12th at the Caribbean Dis­as­ter Emer­gency Man­age­ment Agency (CDEMA) based in Bar­ba­dos.

The ex­er­cise was de­signed to as­sess and eval­u­ate pre­pared­ness and re­quired the par­tic­i­pants to work to­gether to pro­vide pub­lic health, dis­as­ter and se­cu­rity re­sponses, as well as aid in the re­vi­sion of ex­ist­ing Stan­dard Op­er­at­ing Pro­ce­dures (SOPs) for use in real-world re­sponses. The emer­gen­cies de­scribed were sim­u­la­tions only.

Syn­ergy 2017 was the re­sult of a se­ries of de­tailed plan­ning con­fer­ences in­volv­ing per­son­nel from the Caribbean Dis­as­ter Emer­gency Man­age­ment Agency (CDEMA), the Caribbean Pub­lic Health Agency (CARPHA), the CARICOM Im­ple­men­ta­tion Agency for Crime and Se­cu­rity (CARICOM IMPACS) and the Re­gional Se­cu­rity Sys­tem (RSS). It was spon­sored by the Global Cri­sis Re­sponse Sup­port Pro­gramme of the Euro­pean Union.

Syn­ergy 2017 was an his­toric emer­gency co­or­di­na­tion ex­er­cise with par­tic­i­pants from re­gional in­sti­tu­tions based in Bar­ba­dos and Trinidad and Tobago. The re­sponses were co-or­di­nated through a Vir­tual Cri­sis Room made up of per­son­nel from the four agen­cies col­lab­o­rat­ing in a vir­tual en­vi­ron­ment.

The over­all goal of the ex­er­cise, de­fined by se­nior pub­lic safety per­son­nel, was “to con­tinue to en­hance the co­or­di­na­tion and col­lab­o­ra­tion ar­range­ments among CDEMA, CARPHA, CARICOM IMPACS and RSS not­ing the in­creas­ing ca­pac­i­ties of Caribbean re­gional in­sti­tu­tions will al­low for a co­or­di­nated re­gional re­sponse to com­plex emer­gen­cies.”

Mem­bers of the four re­gional agen­cies and rep­re­sen­ta­tives from Na­tional Dis­as­ter Of­fices get­ting ready for the ex­er­cise; L to R: Philmore Mullin (NDC, An­tigua & Bar­buda), Lor­raine Fran­cis (CARPHA), Man­dela Chris­tian (CDEMA), Na­dine Bushell (CARICOM IMPACS), Clar­i­cia Stephens (NDC, St. Kitts & Ne­vis), Cap­tain Brian Roberts (RSS), Earl Arthurs (CDEMA) and Joanne Per­sad (CDEMA).

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