Friday 7th December, 2018 – Deputy Financial Secretary, Ms. Alva McCall represented the Territory at a training in Disaster Risk Reduction and Post Disaster Reconstruction at an exploratory mission to Romania.
Ms. McCall was joined by senior officials from eight (8) other Caribbean countries on a familiarisation visit that allowed the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) Participating States to be exposed to the training.
The initiative was implemented by the Romanian Agency for International Development (RoAid) in partnership with the Department for Emergency Situations under the Romanian Ministry of Interior.
Ms. McCall said that a highlight of the visit was meeting with Secretary of State and Head of the Department for Emergency Situations Dr. Raed Arafat in the Ministry of Internal Affairs who was instrumental in establishing Romania’s modern integrated emergency response service.
She said, “Our meeting with the Secretary of State allowed us to gain a better understanding of how the Government of Romania is able to respond to the types of hazard impacts that they face. We were exposed to a number of impressive facilities including their 911 Call Centre, the Emergency Operations Command Centre and a number of critical medical facilities. Although the size and scale of the operations would be much larger than what we will ever experience in The Virgin Islands we saw firsthand the type of investment that would be needed to manage a large scale operation at the regional level.”
The Deputy Financial Secretary further added,, “As a member of the Board of the BVI Health Services Authority and through my involvement in the National Disaster Management Council, the visit to Romania has allowed me to appreciate the many opportunities that a partnership with Romania can bring for capacity building to the Caribbean Region and for gaining access to technical assistance in a number of areas.”
During the five-day trip the participants visited many cities including Bucharest, Ciolpani and Targu-Mures. They also visited a number of key locations including the Floreasca Emergency Hospital where they were able to view the hospital’s telemedicine system, a decontamination unit at an Emergency Children’s Hospital and Romania’s air medical facility. Ms McCall also met with a fully certified Search and Rescue Team, toured the National Integrated Training Center and Virtual Reality Simulation Center and viewed critical medical equipment including a hyperbaric chamber and a completely established field hospital. . A significant portion of the trip was set aside to allow participants to receive continuity training.
The visit to Romania was conducted from December 3 to 7 and was fully financed by the Government of Romania through an arrangement with CDEMA.