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First Response Agencies Engage in Mass Casualty Training at Grand Cayman Airport

13 October 2023

A cohort of 43 participants representing diverse first response agencies in the Cayman Islands engaged in an intense week-long training programme focused on Mass Casualty Management (MCM) at the Owen Roberts International Airport.

The training programme, which received funding from Hazard Management Cayman Islands (HMCI) and was facilitated with the assistance of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), began on Monday, 18 September 2023 and ended on Saturday, 23 September 2023 at 3:00 a.m. Covering a range of topics, including incident command systems, scene assessment and reporting, triage and emergency medical care, field organisation, psychological first-aid, and management of deceased individuals, the programme equips responders with a more coordinated and efficient use of resources.

Course Coordinator and HMCI’s Operations, Response and Recovery Officer Adan Powell-Jeffries stated that it is important for the response teams to maintain a state of maximum readiness for a major incident. “This training improves our preparedness and response capacity. It is important that we have pre-established procedures in place for mobilisation, incident site management and hospital reception for when we face a major incident, involving multiple victims requiring a multi-agency response.”

The training programme consisted of participants representing a wide array of organisations, including the Cayman Islands Regiment, The Cayman Islands Cadet Corps, Customs and Border Control, Port Authority, Coast Guard, Department of Environmental Health, Prison Service, Royal Cayman Islands Police Service, Fire Service, Cayman Islands Airports Authority, healthcare professionals, and volunteer agencies such as the Red Cross and Community Emergency Response Teams.

The training also served as recertification for eight local trainers under the supervision and guidance of Mr. Peter Burgess, a PAHO/WHO Regional Trainer and Subject Area Expert. According to HMCI, the inclusion of trainers within the local community plays a crucial role in promoting resilience within our islands while also guaranteeing the programme’s sustainability and ongoing operation.

“Mass casualty incidents can occur unexpectedly and often require a coordinated effort among various agencies and responders in the event of an emergency,” said Chief Safety Management Officer Andrew McLaughlin of the Cayman Islands Airports Authority. “Mass Casualty Training fosters teamwork and communication skills, ensuring that responders can work seamlessly together in high-stress situations where saving lives is the ultimate focus.”

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