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CEMO Symposium opening Print E-mail
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Written by By Jem Smith   
Thursday, 11 May 2017 00:00

The City Emergency Management Organization (CEMO) held its 5th annual symposium on Wednesday and Thursday, May 10 and 11, 2017 at the Biltmore Plaza. The primary focus of the symposium was fire management, awareness, and prevention. The integration of emergency management into every aspect of construction and development is the best way to proactively approach any case of emergency. The council expressed their gratitude to the Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister of Belize, and his cabinet and specifically applauded the national interest of Hon. Edmond Castro, Minister of Transport and NEMO.

Given the topic surrounding the symposium, Fire Chief, Ted Smith, explained that the Fire Department would have conducted five stages of presentations, active and proactive efforts taken by the department. Sensitizing the public makes up the bulk of the proactive actions that the fire departments and others need to take to ensure that the suppression of emergency scenarios are properly addressed. Mayor Darrel Bradley emphasized the point that it requires the active involvement of the citizenry to respond in the best manner to any emergency situation. According to Smith, the reactive services of the fire department could be more efficient and effective with continuous training and equipping while proactive methods could be enhanced with the implementation of sound legislature and policy making, all to be addressed at the symposium.

The purpose of the symposium was to share information and to encourage capacity building between first responders, emergency management, policy makers, and elected officials. According to Mayor Bradley, those persons were required to focus on critical areas and to promote awareness among the citizenry as to gain the best results in any emergency scenario. The evolution of the symposium was an opportunity to focus on what are the more pertinent risks between the municipalities, in this year’s case: fire. While the fire department has been exposed to situations of terrestrial fires, this year’s symposium was the first to incorporate international personnel in talking about maritime fire prevention and facilitation.

International presenter, Peter Robinson, Commercial Manager at the Resolve Marine Group, Florida, said that the presentation, which was made possible by CEMO and the Belize Port Authority, focuses on the significant differences between marine/shipboard and terrestrial firefighting and what they entail. Some general differences entail the methods through which persons would be evacuated and through what means the fire would be put out, arriving at the same end with different means.

Participants of the symposium were exposed to an actual fire simulation as well as presentations by persons both of the public and private sectors. They were also given the opportunity to interact with booths from both sectors and to summarize their testimonials in an effort to better communicate their needs.