Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is set to stage a workshop next week designed to improve the disaster resiliency of its main Argyle International Airport.
Sponsored by FedEx and MIA
The workshop, to be held next Wednesday and Thursday at the airport, is being held under the Port Resiliency Program (PReP), an initiative of Outreach Aid to the Americas (OAA) and its affiliate, Americas Relief Team (ART) along with IOS Partners, headquartered here. The two-day exercise is sponsored by FedEx Corporation and Miami International Airport, in conjunction with the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
Some 40 airport officials and staff, first responders including law enforcement and health personnel and representatives of non-government organizations will participate in the training sessions which will cover issues such as Improving Preparedness for Disasters; Hazard and Risk Assessment; Aircraft Crash Impact and Response; Emergency Communications and Social Media and Taking Care of Employees and Families.
Dr. Ralph Gonsalves
Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Dr. Ralph Gonsalves will declare the program officially open on Wednesday morning followed immediately by a session devoted to hazard and risk assessment with an emphasis on hurricanes, volcanic ash, flooding, landslides, pandemics and communicable diseases.
Mr. Hadley Bourne, Chief Executive Officer of Argyle Inc. who is among the presenters at the workshop, says St. Vincent and the Grenadines sees this exercise as integral to its efforts to put in place best practices related to airport resiliency and preparedness.
“We are eagerly looking forward to the recommendations and procedures that will emanate from this training workshop that would serve to enhance our preparedness and response capabilities in the event of a disaster,” Bourne said.
Wesley Kirton offer congratulations
Chair of the planning committee for the upcoming workshop, OAA/ART Director of CARICOM Outreach, Wesley Kirton congratulated the Government of St. Vincent and Grenadines for recognizing the importance of the PReP initiative, especially against the backdrop of the possible worst effects of climate change on small island developing states.
“On behalf of OAA/ART I would like to thank FedEx, Miami International Airport and the Government of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines for their full support of this initiative,” Kirton said.
A similar program was held in Jamaica last year and Kirton says he plans to discuss hosting more workshops with other governments in the CARICOM region. Similar workshops have also been held in other countries in the hemisphere including the Dominican Republic, Mexico and the United States of America.