A simulated oil spill activity was conducted on Tuesday in Berbice, Region Six, as part of Tradewinds 2023, which is a multi-faceted response exercise hosted by Guyana this year.
The simulation included a response and a proactive phase to a fictitious incident involving spilt fuel in the Berbice River and residual implications for such a hazard.
The National Oil Spill Committee (NOSC), which is made up of a number of relevant agencies such as the Civil Defence Commission (CDC) and the Maritime Administration Department (MARAD), went into action at locations such as the Skeldon Sugar Estate (Command Center), CGX Palmyra (Staging Area) and Number 61 Beach (Impact Zone/Staging Area).
Apart from the practical simulation, there was a two-day Tabletop Exercise prior, which allowed the NOSC to utilise their planning, coordinating and operational skills in theory.
The participants were divided into groups based on their agency and expertise.
Command, Logistics, Operations, Planning, Finance and Administration all had separate but coordinating roles which fostered response cohesion.
Those groups were then tested in the field to display what would be necessary should such a hazard occur.
The Response Group (TRG), an American Disaster Risk Management entity, facilitated the Tabletop Exercise.
Additionally, the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) and the World Food Programme (WFP) executed a five-day logistics workshop aimed at bolstering existing logistics systems for response mechanisms.
That workshop introduced software that will make several tasks more efficient for logistics professionals.
Those programmes, along with training for the Incident Command System (ICS) 300, were aimed at preparing every response stakeholder for impending hazards and disasters.
Persons used institutional knowledge in many beneficial ways over the past few days, which put our national readiness for that type of hazard at an improved state.
Exercise Tradewinds 2023 continues with a myriad of events and activities geared at reinforcing the nation’s capacity for security and disaster response in many regards. [Civil Defence Commission press release]