Multi-agency responders got a passing mark in the metrowide earthquake drill dubbed as “Shake, Rattle and Role” held simultaneously at different venues last Friday.
This was the assessment of Jaime Bernadas, Department of Health (DOH) 7 director and a member of the assessment team.
“In a scale of one to 10, I would rate our readiness to respond in this situation between seven and eight,” Bernadas said.
According to Olive Luces, head of the Office of Civil Defense 7, the exercise, which employed the Incident Command System (ICS) for the first time, aimed to measure the cohesiveness and response time of multiple agencies conducting large-scale rescue operations in disasters like earthquake.
An ICS is a standardized management approach to command, control and coordination of emergency responders from multiple agencies under a common hierarchy.
The participants in the drill included the Cebu provincial government, Cebu City government, DOH, Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VCMMC), Cebu City Medical Center (CCMC) and Abellana National High School.
The exercise simulated a 7.0 magnitude earthquake rocking Cebu City and causing damage and injuries to infrastructures and persons at the Capitol and DOH.
ICS stations from Capitol, DOH, VCMMC and CCMC coordinated the transportation of injured persons in the mock rescue operations.
Based on his initial findings, Bernadas observed several lapses committed by responders at the DOH grounds.
He cited some examples such as the wrong placement of equipment and vehicles, congested medical stations and few lapses in the selection of injured persons who would be given priority for medical attention.
Workers of DOH 7 acted as injured victims while emergency units from multiple agencies tested their skills in rescue, first-aid treatment and speed in ferrying injured persons to the hospitals. (Kelvin Canizares/photo by PJ Patricio)