Thirty-one individuals who participated in aone-week training are now certified in Mass Casualty Management.
The training began on Monday February 20th and ended with a closing ceremony at the Office of Disaster Management in Jimmit on Friday February 24th.
Participants included fire and police officers, the Dominica Red Cross, representatives of the Ministry of Health, the Office of Disaster Management and Cadet Corps.
Chief Medical Officer, Dr David Johnson, spoke on behalf of the Hon Minister for Health, Dr. Kenneth Darroux. He said the Ministry of Health continues to work to strengthen Dominica’s comprehensive disaster emergency management plan.
“We are all convinced and have accepted the fact that there is a need to strengthen our preparedness and response mechanism addressing emergencies and mass casualty in general. Given the knowledge and competencies required in mass casualty management, I think it is almost impossible to develop a very structured and robust plan to reduce the impact of emergencies and mass casualties in Dominica without building the capacity of our first responders…as well as our frontline health care personnel. However, lessons learnt from Tropical Storm Erika have taught us that we need to build capacity of our local persons within our various communities in Dominica to be able to respond to mass casualties as well,” Dr. Johnson said.
Participants were taught the skills necessary for accessing and caring for patients at the scene of the accident or catastrophe during the first few minutes following an emergency or disaster.
Dr. Johnson confirmed that these participants are now experts in the principles of mass casualty management and of bringing the hospital to the patient instead of patient to the hospital through prioritization of the victim.
“I am pleased that we now have increased our capacity…” he said.
The training was funded by the Pan American Health Organization.