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Department of Home Affairs to host Major Incident Management Conference 9 October 2006

The Department of Home Affairs is staging a Major Incident Management Conference on the Island from October 10-12.

More than 100 Isle of Man-based delegates will attend the three-day conference which will cover a wide range of topics including pandemic flu, business continuity, legal implications of disaster, and tactical decision making under stress. Various sessions will have first-hand accounts from people involved with incidents in the UK, including the 7/7 London bombings, the Buncefield fire and Marchioness disaster.

Home Affairs Minister John Shimmin will open the conference. He said:

‘More than 100 delegates are to attend the conference from government departments, local authorities and voluntary agencies. It is being staged as part of the Isle of Man Government’s emergency and contingency planning. Its purpose is to increase awareness and to ensure Island agencies and government departments are better prepared for major incidents. People with first-hand accounts of recent major incidents in the UK are to share their experiences and expertise in order that we can learn from them to assist emergency planning in an Isle of Man context.’

Conference facilitator Steve Gregory, a member of the Disaster Management Team from Centrex, the police training establishment at Bramshill, is facilitating the course. He is vastly experienced in dealing with major incidents all over the world, where he is flown in to advise the local emergency services about their response. Recently he has been involved in the response to the London bombings, and was one of the co-ordinators at Buncefield. Steve has visited the Island in the past and is aware of issues that are specific to the Island.

One of the speakers will be Manxborn Dr Gareth Davies who works with HEMS (Helicopter Emergency Medical Service) on London’s air ambulance. He will address the conference on the Wednesday morning (October 11).

Conference co-ordinator at DHA, assistant emergency planning officer Ian Young, said:

‘In the event of a large scale major incident happening on the Island, we are conscious that assistance from the UK could take some time to get here, and the Island has to be in a position to cope on its own with its own resources during the initial response period. All government departments, local authorities and voluntary agencies would have a role to play not just the emergency services, and this course is designed so that all responders have an awareness of the Island’s capabilities, and how we would work in partnership to achieve a professional response.
‘Bringing the speakers to the Isle of Man means that savings are made in terms of delivering training to a large Isle of Man audience who otherwise would not be able to attend this important training in such numbers.’

A few places remain on some sessions of the conference. Anyone interested in booking a place can contact Ian Young on 694317 or for more details.

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