By Kurt Campbell
[www.inewsguyana.com] – The Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) on Wednesday, November 6 displayed while also testing its readiness to respond to any emergency at the facility through a planned simulation exercise.
Today’s exercise mocked a plane crash with a situation of mass casualties which tested the responses of agencies like the Guyana Defence Force, Customs and Immigration, Ministry of Health, Caribbean Airlines, Guyana Civil Aviation Authority, Civil Defence Commission and the Guyana Police Force among others.
Apart from testing the CJIA’s emergency responses, the imitation also provided hands-on experience for airport and airline staff, hospitals officials, fire fighters and security and other emergency personnel.
Transport Minister Robeson Benn, who observed the response, explained that the exercise forms part of the certification requirement for International Airports.
“Every six months there is a table top exercise and every year there is a simulation exercise and every two years there is a mass causality exercise which today’s event is about” he explained, adding that “an Evaluation will be done dispassionately to assess performance of all those who responded.”
The Transport Minister declined from giving a rating of the undertaking based on his observation but noted however that there were a few things that much more attention should be given to.
“I’ll await the review of the dispatchers, this is the third exercise I’m observing and we always have to await their assessment,” he said.
Meanwhile Chief Medical Officer Dr. Shamdeo Persaud said he was very impressed with the medial teams’ response which he believe was adequate.
“I think it worked well, everyone appeared to be clear of their responsibilities and how to respond to a crisis, most times the best results for health is how it is organized and how smooth it moves,” Dr. Persaud added.
An Airport Emergency Committee, which usually plans for any emergency at the Airport, began preparation for the exercise more than six months ago in developing the scenario and coordinating the logistics for the large-scale event.