The Civil Defence Commission (CDC), in partnership with other stakeholders has developed a Mass Causality plan to ensure citizens’ safety during the 50th Independence anniversary celebrations at D’urban Park.
Acting Director General of CDC, Kester Craig told the Government Information Agency (GINA) that in preparation for the Jubilee celebrations, the commission has started several coordinated meetings with all stakeholders. These are intended to identify roles, responsibilities, resources, gaps and challenges that may arise.
Craig said that the Mass Causality plan is the main strategy that will be implemented in response to emergencies that may occur at D’urban Park. “This is nothing new; we usually ensure that there are coordinated systems among the agencies to deal with emergencies at large events,” he said.
Training and testing in search and rescue and mass casualties will be conducted on May 21 for the representatives. This exercise will seek to enlighten the stakeholders of their roles and responsibilities, and to ensure that all equipment is functioning, “So at the end of the exercise, I think we will have a team of well-equipped persons and functioning equipment.”
On May 25 and 26, a Venue Operating Centre (VOC) will be established with stakeholder representatives to monitor the event, Craig explained.
In the case of emergencies, the different representatives and their medical equipment will be in the bleachers/pavilion to transport injured persons to the advanced medical post located at Castellani House nearby where critically injured persons will then be transported to medical institutions.
Senior Superintendent of the Guyana Police Force, Whitney Bacchus, said that the Force is prepared for emergencies. “We have arrangements in place to deal with the event and we will be having the traffic department monitoring and regulating traffic around the area, because it is important that there is no traffic congestion.”
In relation to security, Bacchus explained that there will be ranks around the perimeter of D’urban Park and the entrances leading to the venue to ensure everyone’s safety and security.
According to Bacchus, at the Park police will be in the stands and there will be barriers to ensure that persons do not encroach on the activities that will be happening on the tarmac. “Generally the Police Force is prepared for the flag raising ceremony, and the float parade, and the ranks will receive briefing as to how to operate on the day to keep citizens safe.”
Meanwhile, Compton Sparman, Divisional Officer for Guyana Fire Service told GINA that systems are already in place, and that, “We know exactly what must be done, for this event. We will ensure that persons trained by the CDC will have refresher training.”
He explained that because there are mostly wooden structures in the Park, there will be a fire service crew to deal with any fire outbreaks. There will also be a rescue crew to respond quickly to emergencies and assist the CDC and other agencies to take persons to the rescue point located at Castellani House. “We will have three alarms activated for casualties which will aid us in our work,” Sparman said.
Help and Shelter, St. Joseph Mercy Hospital and Davis Memorial Hospital are among other stakeholders on board.
The CDC’s hotline telephone numbers are 226-1114, 226-1117, 600-7500, 623-1700.