February 19, 2020

Cayman Islands: First responders train in Mass Casualty Management


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Between April 8th and April 12th approximately thirty individuals in Grand Cayman will receive training in (MCM). The Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) and Hazard Management Cayman Islands (HMCI) are sponsoring the course.

“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,” explained Hazard Management Director, Danielle Coleman. “This could be a situation such as a major fire, a multi-car traffic accident, earthquake or a plane crash. Some of the subject areas covered in the training include emergency medicine, the organization of advanced medical posts, psychosocial care, the management of dead bodies, division of roles and responsibilities, and tasks of the first responders.”

Honourable Tara Rivers, Minister for Home Affairs said, “Fortunately these types of mass casualty situations happen rarely in the Cayman Islands but we have to ensure that when they do happen that we get out response right. It is likely that in a major incident several different response agencies will be working together and that adds complexity. If we don’t practice before we face a major incident it could easily overwhelm us, and 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.”

The training will take place at the University College of the Cayman Islands and this year, there will be 5 newly trained local PAHO Instructors assisting with the training. The new Instructors will be supported by an existing cadre of experienced local Instructors including Detective Chief Inspector Richard Barrow, Inspector Ian Yearwood, Deputy Commandant of the Cayman Islands Cadet Corps Ricardo Henry and Andrew McLaughlin, Chief Safety Officer at the Cayman Islands Airports Authority. They are joined by PAHO Emergency Response Facilitator Mr. Peter Burgess who delivers PAHO training courses throughout the Caribbean. Mr. Burgess is no stranger to the Cayman Islands having delivered a range of courses to our first responders over the years, including Emergency Care and Treatment, Incident Command Systems and Mass Casualty Management.

The persons attending the course include medical staff from the Health Services Authority, senior Police, Fire and Prison Officers, as well as staff from other agencies such as the Port Authority, the Department of Public Safety Communications and the Department of the Environmental Health and others.

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