EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS FOR SUMMER AND DAY CAMPS - SEMINAR
A one day, highly interactive seminar geared for Summer Camps and Day Camps.
Who should attend: Camp Directors / Managers, Program Directors, Counsellors, Camp Staff, Camp Nurses, and those responsible for camp safety.
Severe storms, aggressive persons, fire, etc.
Safe Children Policies
Friday, May 27, 2016
- 9:30 am to 3:30 pm
Location: YMCA, 10610 Bayview Ave.#12,
Richmond Hill, L4C3N8 (between Elgin Mills and Major MacKenzie)
Saturday, June 4, 2016
- 9:30 am to 3:30 pm
Location: Suite Success at ESS Direct, 411 Huronia Road #5,
(at the corner of Huronia Road and Big Bay Point)
Participants will receive a workbook with draft procedures and policies. Registration only $149.
Register before April 30 and SAVE $30.
Early bird registration is ONLY $119
Seating is limited. Register today!
For additional information and to register go to: www.emergencymgt.com/#!upcoming-seminars/c167w
Please share with those you know who may be involved in a summer or day camp.
Interested in hosting a seminar? Call us to learn about the benefits of hosting an emergency management seminar: (705) 719-9007.
ONTARIO ASSOCIATION OF FIRE CHIEFS TRADE SHOW
Emergency Management & Training Inc. is pleased to be back at the Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs trade show on May 1 and 2. Stop by our booth #326 to say Hi. As well, we will be supporting GlobalFire, a Canadian charity that supports fire services in developing countries around the world through a draw with some amazing prizes.
See you there!
WORLD CONFERENCE ON DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Emergency Management & Training Inc. is proud to be the training partner on the World Conference on Disaster Management, once again producing an EOC disaster exercise for the third consecutive year. This year's exercise is, "TRAINS, PLANES, AND AUTOMOBILES: THE COLLAPSE OF THE ULTIMATE THREESOME".
For more information on the exercise go to: http://www.wcdm.org/disaster-exercise.html. Space is limited, so register early!
We also have VIP discounts for our clients and friends. Use this link http://www.wcdm.org/lp/raving-fan.html?eid=EMT2016 and enter the code: EMT2016 for a special guaranteed registration rate of $339.00 for a full conference pass before March 31st!
We look forward to seeing you at WCDM 2016!
GLOBALFIRE - HELPING DEVELOPING NATIONS AROUND THE WORLD
Emergency Equipment Realities in Developing Nations
Our publication has been featuring articles submitted by GlobalFire which outline the challenges faced by emergency services in the developing world. GlobalFire is an international charity that works with fire and emergency medical services in developing countries around the world. Emergency Management & Training Inc. has partnered with GlobalFire to help get technical equipment and specialized training assistance to the men and women who stand ready to respond to help their communities even though they have little of what is required. For more information, please visit www.globalfire.ca
For the purpose of brevity, we will leave aside discussing the myriad of factors that have resulted in the equipment deficiencies we will be outlining in the following article. Nor will we highlight the massive lack of training and knowledge in the technical subject matter surrounding the delivery of modern emergency services. Each of these topics could be an article in itself. Suffice it to say that, in poor countries, government and departmental levels of management often ask their Firefighters and Paramedics to fight fire; perform technical rescues; mitigate HAZMAT incidents and provide emergency medical services with little in the way of tools, protective equipment, or training.
In most countries in the developing world, fire departments run the ambulance service. The primary reason is that fire departments were often createdbefore ambulance services as unfought urban fires often sweep through neighborhoods affecting large numbers of people, property, and infrastructure. As such, there is always a vested interest in establishing, at the very least, rudimentary fire departments in most of the major cities of even the poorest countries.
Ambulance services are treated differently. Most people in the developing world are so poor they will never be able to see a doctor, much less have a specialized vehicle with medically trained attendants who arrive at their door when required. When a city becomes affluent enough that it is able to consider offering an emergency medical service, financial realities and an already established service often means the fire department is expected to take on the role. This makes sense as they are already organized with regionally deployed buildings, personnel, dispatch procedures, etc.
The societal duty for communities to provide emergency services to the local population has meant that tens of thousands of fire and EMS departments have been established and are operating in very poor countries. The following paragraphs briefly describe the emergency services equipment realities in developing nations. We have focused on Fire and Medical issues and left aside rescue and hazardous materials incident mitigation. Rest assured that the conditions surrounding these disciplines are equally grim.
Fire Services Deficiencies
- Protective Fire Fighting Clothing. In many countries it is nonexistent. Often welding garments are substituted. GlobalFire has found some departments operating in locally made firefighting suits which are made to look like proper "bunker gear" (turnouts) but are in fact flammable and provide little thermal and vapor protection. In departments which have received donated bunker gear, the thermal liners are often removed. It is common for a few sets of gear to remain on the fire truck which are then fought over by the firefighters. Custom tailored firefighting suits required by standards in developed countries is unheard of and firefighting gloves, boots and flash hoods are extremely rare.
- Protective Breathing Systems (SCBA). In many countries SCBA's are nonexistent. In many fire departments they are scarce and what SCBA they do have are a mixed variety of incompatible systems. GlobalFire teams have on multiple occasions found crews working with SCBA that are 50 years old and needed to be run in full emergency bypass simply for the wearer to receive a percentage of air. Chief's may hold back on using what few SCBA may be available until they are "really needed" because there are so few, or because the process for refilling the air cylinders could take weeks and is cost prohibitive. Some departments have distributed what few SCBA they have onto special teams who perform interior tasks. The limited number and delayed use of SCBA can be problematic, to say the least.
Due to the lack of this equipment, fire crews cannot approach the seat of the fire to affect fire suppression or get inside to rescue victims. Because of this, fires grow bigger and are more difficult to control. More people are killed by fires that might otherwise have been rescued. In addition to the tactical limitations, it is GlobalFire's belief that fire service members in developing countries are suffering from job related cancers at a rate much higher than their counterparts in developed countries as they are responding to more fires with less protection. Though in most developing countries there are no statistics kept, GlobalFire members have attended multiple funerals of firefighters in several countries. The stories are always the same but there is no associated autopsy or pathology reports to confirm the suspicion of family and coworkers.
- Fire Trucks. Almost all fire apparatus GlobalFire teams have encountered around the developing world have either been donated once their service life in a developed country is over, or if new, have come through some governmental assistance program from the international community. The remainder are locally manufactured and can be very crude and inefficient. The vehicles are kept tidy but maintenance and repair is costly and so many issues arise. There are entire cities that lose fire protection because their fire department is too poor to afford a new battery or tires for their fire truck.
- Fire Hose. The majority of actual firefighting hoses found throughout the developing world have been donated from wealthier countries once they are finished with it. For the most part this old fire hose holds up well, but is often found contaminated due to lack of cleaning and many hoses have been repaired multiple times. The wide variety of fire hose manufacturers and different national coupling standards has resulted in many incompatible types of fire hose. It is common to see a fire hose which has had its original connection coupling cut off and a different style wired in place. This solves the local fire department's compatibility problem but often means that the hose cannot be used at high pressures. Often cheap hose intended for uses other than firefighting are used out of necessity. Lower pressures mean that hose lines cannot be very long or go up in elevation. This severely limits the tactics that a fire department can employ.
- Fire Fighting Equipment. Simply put, there are deficiencies across the board including everything from not having enough hose nozzles, ventilation fans, radios, flashlights, or hand tools. What firefighting equipment a department might have is often in a poor state of repair. There is an almost complete lack of "modern" technology like thermal imaging cameras, multigas detectors, etc.In many countries, equipment is not kept on the fire trucks for fear of it being stolen by the public. Often equipment is kept safely in the fire stations and is only brought to the scene when requested. GlobalFire teams have reported that delays in receiving equipment as simple as bolt cutters has meant increased fire growth or even loss of life.
Emergency Medical Services Deficiencies
- Sterility. The overriding problem that emergency medical services in developing countries face is the disposable nature of medical equipment. The small operating budgets of these departments mean they cannot afford to purchase new stock when they use many items. It is extremely common to see cervical immobilization collars, oxygen masks, bag-valve masks, and suction equipment being cleaned for reuse.
- Bandages. The manufacturers of medical supplies do not often donate free medical supplies to the developing world. They certainly cannot donate the required amounts. To fill the need, ambulance or fire/medic services in most poor countries make their own bandages. Although they take steps, sterility is an issue.
- Spinal Immobilization. Ambulance crews will often remove spinal immobilization equipment (stiff necks & backboards) from their patients upon arrival at the hospital because there is no replacement stock and if left with the patient, the ambulance service would lose the equipment.
- Oxygen. The proper administration of oxygen can have a very positive impact on many medical patients. In the developing world, however, this takes on a whole new dimension. The oxygen used is commonly industrial quality, not medical grade. It is commonly welding oxygen tanks and industrial regulators seen in use. Often oxygen that could be of use is not employed because the ambulance service cannot afford to refill the cylinder which may need to be shipped great distances for refilling.
- Defibrillators. Most are early models that employ old and inefficient electrical methods. In some cases older model defibrillators are kept because they use paddles and don't require "modern" single use leads or pads. GlobalFire crews have reported seeing local EMS trying to quickly clean used defibrillator pads and store them in Ziploc bags before they dry out so that they can be reused. Batteries are a huge issue. Most are old and don't hold their charge for more than one or two electrical shocks and (if the model battery is still being sold) the emergency medical service is too poor to buy them.
- Ambulances. The majority of "proper" ambulances have been donated once their service life in a developed country is over, or if new, have come through some governmental assistance program from the international community. Many "van" style ambulances are locally manufactured. GlobalFire has encountered everything from locally built bicycle or motorcycle ambulances to fire trucks used to transport patients. Necessity is the mother of invention.
- Rival Agencies. It is common for several emergency medical agencies to race one another to the same incident to try and scoop the patient. Patient care, especially in trauma situations greatly suffers as one crew battles the other to get the patient loaded into their ambulance. Theft of precious medical supplies from one ambulance by another service's crew is not uncommon.
The above list of equipment deficiencies barely scratches the surface of the needs faced by the brave men and women who stand ready to help members of their communities, and is only intended to give you a glimpse into the realities that exist in over one hundred countries around the world.
In the year 2016, one would assume that the equipment (and training) deficiencies faced by fire and emergency medical services in developing countries would be drastically improved from where it was 30 years ago. This is in fact not occurring. Though it is true that more emergency services are being created by poor countries, the financial realities on the ground mean this greater number of emergency services are not being properly equipped or trained.
The need for emergency services material support and training is increasing, not decreasing. Help GlobalFire help those who help others. Please visit www.globalfire.ca today to donate.
Submission by Craig Lister, Director, GlobalFire
Note: Emergency Management & Training Inc. will be holding a fundraising raffle at the Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs annual conference and trade show on May 1 & 2 with all proceeds being donated to GlobalFire in support of fire departments in third world countries. Stop by our booth (#326) to check out the prizes and contribute to this great cause.
COGITATING BCP, A FEW STAFFING QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER
In a major (insert type of incident here) incident what type of staffing will be required? What are your critical services? What will their roles be? Will your staff have to take on a different role? Are they trained for it? What skills will be required (e.g. server replacement, clean up, communications, client services)? What skills can be contracted out? Will those contractors be available or will they be impacted as well?
What incentives / services can you provide to motivate employees to come to work quickly after a disaster? What services will your staff need or want in order to come to work? Child care? Communicate with family? Sense of safety / security?
How will you contact your staff? Where will they be?
Every business and organization should have a business continuity plan. Does yours?
We can help.
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