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U.S. Coast Guard, Dominican Republic Authorities Conduct Mass Rescue Operation Exercise

U.S. Coast Guard Sector San Juan and Dominican Republic authorities, conducted the first Mass Rescue Operations (MRO) Seminar and tabletop exercise between the two nations November 8-9, 2018 in Santo Domingo.

“This exercise showcases the valuable relationships the U.S. Coast Guard shares with the Dominican Republic,” said Capt. Eric P. King, Sector San Juan commander. “By continuously working together, we improve the preparedness of our regional response community and provide for the safety of the people who depend on our strong partnerships and joint collaboration.”

“This important workshop has undoubtedly come to enrich and strengthen the knowledge of the country’s first response agencies and institutions,” said Dr. Juan Manuel Méndez García, Brig. Gen. and Director of the Emergency Operations Center in the Dominican Republic. “It will also contribute with updating several plans and the development and design of a Response Plan in case of an incident involving a cruise ship”.

U.S. Coast Guard along with local military, civil authorities and volunteer organizations gathered in the Dominican Republic Emergency Operations Center to participate in active discussions related to MRO concepts, objectives, teamwork, event planning and response, including the case discussion of the recent fire aboard and evacuation of the Caribbean Fantasy ferry on 17 August 2016.

The planning, preparedness, and situational awareness capability of the interactive training tool provided participants a visual representation of the MRO simulation. The display depicted a general harbor scene in the Port of Santo Domingo with over 3,400 passengers aboard a ship as well as a staging area to muster and account for the passengers that required evacuation. The scenario also identified resources needed to assist the passengers from a burning vessel during the abandon ship process and emergency response efforts needed at the landing site.

During the exercise, participants shared lessons learned from Caribbean Fantasy ferry fire as well as other MRO cases from around the world.

Among the established objectives met, participants were able to identify potential improvements in interagency/stakeholder roles and responsibilities, accountability capabilities, and communication networks to mitigate a ship to shore evacuation.

Read more at USCG

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