Sultanate Conducts Emergency Medical Evacuation Drill- Call of Duty 2017
Sultanate Conducts Emergency Medical Evacuation Drill- Call of Duty 20174/4/2017
With the aim of ensuring the preparedness of the concerned authorities in the Sultanate in handling the various emergency cases particularly those involving mass casualty incidents, the Ministry of Health (MOH) conducted today Tuesday the emergency medical evacuation exercise (Call of Duty 2017) in Musandam Governorate.
The drill was organized by the MOH represented by the Medical & Public Health Response Sector in collaboration with the Royal Air Force of Oman (RAFO). The drill is the first-of-its-kind in the Sultanate given the fact that a number of concerned authorities took part in it including the National Committee for Civil Defence (NCCD), the Royal Army of Oman (RAO), Royal Oman Police (ROP), as well as the Public Authority for Civil Defence and Ambulance (PACDA), the Oman Royal Navy, and the Musandam Governorate’s Office of the Ministry of Interior (MOI). Moreover, Jibreen Training Services Office, which offers Disasters Management program took part in this drill.
H.E. Dr. Ahmed Mohammed Al Saidi, Minister of Health, number of high-ranking officials from the MOH, Security, Military, and other civil agencies attended the exercise’s phases.
The drill was built on a range of mock scenarios. The first phase involved a fire that occurred on one of the cruise ships that was heading towards Khasab Port near the Omani coast in Musandam. The fire led the passengers to stampede causing mass causalities. The ship sent a rescue call (SOS) to the Port’s authorities where the Authority of Civil Defence & Ambulances was the first responder to the scene. Initial management was carried out by the (PACDA) and cases were triaged at the port whereby the simulated casualties were transferred to Khasab hospital and the nearby health institutions in order to receive the appropriate treatment. In the meanwhile, the national sub-committee of Civil Defence in addition to the sub-committee of Medical & Public Health Response Sector of Musandam that is represented by the Main Committee for Emergency & Health Disasters Management were activated.
The Initial assessment determined that the magnitude of the incident surpassed the available capacities of the local responding agencies and the capacity of the referral hospital and health centers of Musandam Governorate. Therefore, the Main Committee for Emergency & Health Disasters Management of the adjoining Governorates including Al Buraimi, North Al Batinah, and Al Dhahirah were activated to back up Musandam whenever the situation demanded.
Simultaneously, the sub-committee of Medical & Public Health Response Sector requested support through the Civil Defence Sub-Committee to undertake the aircraft evacuation of (100) simulated casualties and assist in transferring them to Muscat Governorate via the Royal Air Force of Oman’s aircrafts.
The last scenario represented in inverting the direction of the responded aircraft to performing an Emergency landing in the near Governorates (Al Buraimi, North Al Batinah, Al Dhahirah) to deal with the incident according to the Governorates’ Emergency Plan.
The drill was remarkably successful on all its levels and achieved the goals as planned.
On this occasion, Health Minister stated that this drill affirmed the significance of preparation and practical executions for the specified strategic plans, and identifying areas of weaknesses and strengths, as well as measuring the level of coordination between the responding agencies for any incidents that the Sultanate may encounter.
Commenting on the drill, Brigadier. Yasir Humood Al Ma’mari, ROP Commander in Musandam and Chairman of the Governorate’s Civil Defence Sub-Committee emphasized that the drill reflected areas of cooperation and readiness between the participated agencies. Brigadier. Al Ma’mari pointed out that the drill came within the training and preparedness efforts exerted on such incidents on the national level in general and on the Governorate level in particular through the Sub-Committee in which its preparedness and effectiveness in dealing with these incidents has been tested.
From his side, H.E. Sayeed Khalifa Al Murdas Al Busaidi, Governor of Musandam stated that the drill was the first exercise that joined civil and military organizations in the field of emergency. H.E. Al Busaidi confirmed that there are aspects that needed to be considered; however, the drill was more that successful for a primary trial.
The significance of the drill lays in incorporating the concept of combined work between the Military, Security, and Civil Apparatus as well as measuring the effectiveness of leadership and control system. Moreover, it tests the competence and speed of civil response in addition to the availability of resources and medical equipment and the various types of aircrafts used for performing such evacuations.