ESF-6 attend emergency management plan workshop

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GREAT BAY – Collective Prevention Services (CPS) invited members of the country’s disaster management system to attend a two-day workshop.

Emergency Support Function 6 (ESF-6), which represents the health sector, participated in an Emergency Management Plan Workshop.

The instructor was Dr. Elizabeth Ferdinand, an international consultant for the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) on Emergency and Disaster Preparedness.

The objective is to develop a St. Maarten Health Sector Emergency Management Plan (HSEMP), which would form part of a Multi-Hazard Plan for the country.

Participants focused on four areas: to analyze the risks and confirm what hazards should be included in the plan; to determine the resources needed and how they should be made available; to develop a roadmap to finalize the development of the HSEMP; and to include in the roadmap the planning for preparedness to carry out the HSEMP.

The aims of the workshop were to: sensitize the relevant staff of the Ministry of Health to the need for a multi hazard health sector disaster plan and what should be included in it; to allow staff the opportunity to discuss and list the essential information needed to be included in the plan; presentation in plenary of the deliberations to get consensus; and to compose the basic framework for the plan.

Presentations dealt with: the risk analysis; determining what hazards should be included in the plan; risk analysis exercise; mapping health hazards; structure/function/coordinating mechanism; roles/responsibilities/composition of committees; SOP for health disaster coordinating committee; information systems at command center; and Resources.

The lead agency for ESF-6 is the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour, with CPS responsible for surveillance and health promotion.

Those that took part in the workshop were: Emergency Operations Center (EOC) Coordinator; Social Services ESF-7; ESF-6; Ministry VSA; St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC); White & Yellow Cross Foundation; Windward Islands Emergency Medical Services (WIEMS); SMA; St. Maarten Red Cross; Windward Islands Medical Association (WIMA); and the Mental Health Foundation.

The workshop was held in the conference room of CPS.

PHOTO CUTLINE: Participants who took part in the two-day Health Sector Emergency Management Plan workshop.