Two-island simulation
February 10, 2006

Two-island simulation

A two-island simulation dubbed Operation X which coincided with the 11th anniversary of the Rainbow Radio League (RRL) was successfully staged on the weekend of January 21 and 22.

The main object of the exercise was to give Emergency Communications, (Emcoms) responders from Grenada the opportunity to know the location of all the emergency shelters on St. Vincent and vice versa as well as experimenting with a variety of wireless radio systems with the view to developing a ‘radio map’ of Grenada and St. Vincent, so that if called upon, these responders would be able to deliver an efficient service aimed at providing Emcoms services and saving human life following a natural disaster. {{more}}

The exercise was conducted in three stages. First was a map reading exercise on January 9, which was followed by a Pre Op X drill on January 14, culminating with the main event on January 21 and 22.

Representing Grenada were Floyd Dowden (J39JX -Team leader), Frank Noel (J39CY – Technical Officer), Kitson Francis (J39KF), Joy Flemming (J39JF), Gerry Lewis (Radio Officer NaDMA) and

CB operator Tamara Mc.Williams. The team on the ground in Grenada included Sylvan Mc Intyre (Coordinator NaDMA), Peter Alexander (J39JT), Martin Jessamy (J39GP) and Leslie Allard (J39JZ).

Leading the Vincentian team to Grenada was RRL President Albert Browne (J88CT), which also included Claude Richards (J85M Technical Director RRL), Justin Da Silva (J88DA), Houlda Peters (Training Officer NEMO), Muwsa Mohammad (NEMO) and Stanley Stephens, both radio operators in training.

The Vincentian ground crew was made up of representatives of the SVG Coastguard, Fire Dept., Police Telecoms, Traffic Dept., SVG Cadets and District DM committees from Owia, Fancy and Chateaubelair. These individuals now know where all the emergency shelters are located in SVG and were given ‘hands on’ opportunities to operate wireless radio, communicating with other Emcoms responders in Grenada and SVG.

During the debriefing sessions, the following were identified: the need for transceivers to be placed in vulnerable rural communities and persons trained to operate the same; the need to train and involve CB operators in Emcoms; the need to develop a radio map of Grenada and SVG, to ensure reliable communications from almost any location on each island; the need for courses in defensive driving for all drivers (Gov’t and NGO) involved with Search and Rescue, Damage Assessment and Emcoms; the need to equip vehicles with both VHF and SSB transceivers and antennas; the need to train all Emcoms responders with CPR skills; the need for an on-going Emcoms training program including regular simulation exercises with varying scenarios.

The exercise received full support from the two national agencies involved with Disaster Management, NaDMA of Grenada and their counterpart NEMO(SVG). Mustique Airways, Sol, LIAT and Scotiabank also provided sponsorship.