The Minister of National Security, the Hon. Wayne M. Caines, JP, MP, and members of the Ministry of National Security return from a two day visit to Miami where a review of their Emergency Operations Centres (EOC) was conducted.
The aim of the visit was to review the facilities’ best practices and how their procedures could enhance Bermuda’s emergency operations.
Minister Caines said, “The public will recall when Cabinet concluded it prudent to combine all services into a single point of contact for dispatching. This has not been implemented.”
“At present, the Combined Operations located at Prospect, Devonshire answer and dispatch police to 9 -11 calls, or transfer them to the Bermuda Fire Service for either fire or medical dispatch.”
“The Operations arm of the Emergency Measures Organisation (EMO) is also housed in the same building and deal with hurricanes and all other national emergencies or disasters. It is also required to meet and manage incidents across Bermuda. In recent years, hurricanes have been the only events necessitating this arm of the EMO but this may not always be the case.”
“Bermuda will follow the Joint Emergency Services Interoperability Principles (JESIP) model which is considered international best practice. Commanders involved in managing incidents will be co-located in a single location to provide effective interagency communication. This will ensure enhanced coordination, strategic deployment and situational awareness when managing incidents across Bermuda.”
Minister Caines continued, “The creation of a purpose built or outfitted Emergency Operations Center will bring Bermuda’s ability to respond to national emergencies or disasters to international standards.”
During the Ministry delegation’s Miami visit, they conducted security reviews of key emergency facilities in Broward County and Weston County.
Joining Minister Caines was Ministry Permanent Secretary, Colin Anderson, Acting Assistant Commissioner of Police Darrin Simons; and the Disaster Response Risk Mitigation Team’s (DRRMT), National Disaster Coordinator, Steve Cosham and Deputy National Disaster Coordinator, Kelly Trott. Meeting them in Miami was the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) Disaster Advisor, Jon Snell.