A week-long intensive simulation exercise aimed at equipping emergency responders with the requisite skills to help strengthen collaboration between them so as to reduce the effects of disasters in the country has ended in Accra. It was powered by the North Dakota National Guard from the United States of America and other development partners.
The exercise was also meant to test the readiness of stakeholder agencies for inter-operability with the capability of handling disasters and similar emergencies.
Participating agencies include the Ghana National Fire Service, National Ambulance Service, Ghana Police Service, officers of 48 Engineer Regiment of the Ghana Armed Forces and the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO).
A typical scenario on earthquake was held at the Accra Sports Stadium where officers from collaborating agencies were made to play various roles to enable them display same kind of professional response in times of real time disaster situations.
Lt. Col Mark McEvers, leader of the North Dakota team expressed satisfaction at the turn of events and congratulated them for their professional display of the various roles assigned them. He urged them to apply similar skills during real time disaster situations so as to help save life and property.
Other members of the team expressed similar sentiments and urged the various agencies to keep up the good work.
Some members of NADMO’s Geological Technical Committee stated in an interview that the exercise had come at an opportune time especially considering the fact that there had been a few lapses when it comes to emergency responses in Ghana. “Taking emergency responders through this kind of exercise at this time will not only enable them prepare adequately in times of disasters but will go a long way to reduce the effects of disasters on victims,” Mr. Mawuli Akoto said.
He was hopeful that lessons learnt from the exercise would be applied appropriately as and when the need arises.
The National Ambulance Service however, expressed grave concerns about the lack of inadequate logistics to work with but was grateful to the organisers for the exercise as it had enhanced their skills as Emergency Medical Officers.
On Wednesday May 9, 2018, the Director-General of NADMO, Hon. Eric Nana Agyeman-Prempeh led an 8-member team to the exercise centre to witness things for himself. He was led round by the leader of the US team, Mark McEvers where he was briefed about the exercise and how cooperative the playing officers were.
Later in an interview with press men, Hon. Agyeman-Prempeh expressed appreciation to the US Government and other development partners for supporting NADMO over the years and called for stronger partnership enable the organisation achieve its goals and objectives.
“I hope exercises of such nature would be organised in subsequent years to help our officers gain modern experiences to enable them to respond more effectively to disaster situations,” he said.
At a closing ceremony, the Deputy Minister for the Interior, Mr. Henry Quartey expressed the need to work and train personnel to tackle Earthquake and other emergencies that might occur.
“Earthquakes have destroyed human lives, social and economic infrastructure and developmental projects of most countries”. He said.
He further added that it was his fervent wish that our other developmental partners emulate this noble gesture and support in other areas of disaster resilient building effort in the country.
The Director General of NADMO Mr. Eric Nana Agyeman-Prempeh said the exercise has enlightened the personnel and were ready to tackle earthquake emergencies efficiently when they occur.