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St. John, Antigua, September 16, 2013 - (NODS) - Twenty-nine individuals from various emergency response agencies completed a one-week training on Friday on Mass Casualty Management (MCM) at the National Office of Disaster Services (NODS).

The September 9-13 session was supported by the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) as part of its technical cooperation support to the Ministry of Health.



Temporary Advisor to PAHO and Chief Instructor Peter Burgess says the training is geared towards the multi-sectoral approach to dealing with Mass Casualty Incidents and the re-certification and training of instructors.

Participants from the Emergency Medical Service (EMS), hospital, community health clinics, police, fire and the military were taken through topics such as Mass Casualty, triaging (tri-ar-ging) of victims, emergency response, hospital reception, planning for disasters and stress management or psychological first aid as it is now called. “You will have a cadre of instructors who can conduct training here in Antigua and by way of that they can train more people from the different responding agencies and hopefully it will be a continuous thing and the agencies will be better prepared to deal with Mass Casualty Incidents as they occur”, Burgess said.

 

Organisers say participants have shown a keen interest by their involvement in the practical exercises and they seem to have grasped the concepts quite well.

Nurse Jeridith John-Jules, who is attached to the Emergency Department at the Mount St John’s Medical Centre, says the sessions have been good and quite enjoyable. “I feel I can be an important part of a Mass Casualty Incident if it does occur in the future. I don’t see myself as an instructor but I see myself as being part of the team and that is the most important role that I can play, being on the scene”, said John-Jules.

PAHO is also working closely with the Ministry of Health to develop a National Health Sector Disaster Management Plan which should be completed by October.

 

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