Media Alert: Western Cape Health Minister to Participate in Simulation of Disaster Incident in Worcester
Tonight, the Western Cape Department of Health's Emergency Medical Services will simulate a major disaster accident to evaluate areas for improvement. Western Cape Minister of Health, Theuns Botha, will also partake in this evening's exercise.
Date: Thursday, 21 July 2011
Time: 18:00 until 21:30
Venue: Worcester EMS Base, 1 Murray Street, Worcester
RSVP: Keri Davids on 083 286 4227 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org before 19 July 2011 to ensure your place in the exercise.
NB: Media are advised to bring along their press cards as it will guarantee access to the training exercise site and Provincial Worcester Hospital.
When an incident occurs that affects a large amount of people, communities look to provincial and local emergency services to deliver effective service as their lives depend on this assistance. Emergency Services cannot be unprepared when the call comes through. It is for this reason that the Department of Health: Emergency Medical Services (EMS), in collaboration with other emergency service agencies, is running a training exercise to test their readiness in responding to future major incidents in the Western Cape.
EMS would like to invite media to participate in the exercise where Emergency Medicine students from the UCT and Stellenbosch universities will be given the platform to put theoretical knowledge to practice. Along with Forensic Pathology Services (FPS), Traffic, the South African Police Services (SAPS) and local fire and rescue services in Worcester, agencies will simulate a major incident involving both media and students in the exercise.
The media will play two parts - as "journalists", enquiring information from the students as if a real major incident has taken place and in their professional capacity to assess local and provincial emergency services competency to respond to major incidents.
Students will be responsible for the medical component of the exercise by providing effective treatment and transport of patients on and from the scene to the Provincial Worcester Hospital. The second component of the exercise will allow Worcester Hospital to test their ability to receive an influx of patients and accommodate media after a major disaster has occurred.
There will be an opportunity for media to interview Western Cape Minister of Health, Theuns Botha, and the Head of DoH, Professor Keith Househam, on the scene and then later at the hospital to retrieve supplementary information about the exercise. Transport will be made available to journalists from the EMS Worcester Base to the training exercise site and then to the Provincial Worcester Hospital for the official media briefing.