Disaster Management Command Centre at St Francis Fire Station
With the fires of January now but a memory, the importance of what must happen if a similar disaster befalls us in the future is possibly the last thing on most resident’s minds. But the experience gained and lessons learnt from that disaster by some of those who worked so hard in not only containing the fire, but also in managing different aspects from traffic control to sustenance for those on the front lines fighting the inferno has brought them together to plan for the future.
Over the past months a group made up of these residents from Cape St Francis, the Air Park, St Francis Bay and St Francis Links have been meeting at The Links conceiving a workable disaster management plan for the greater St Francis. To be known as St Francis Disaster Volunteer Group (SFDVG) the achievements of the group thus far in identifying many aspects of what is required should another disaster befall the area have been comprehensive. From detailed equipment requirements to response procedures, manpower deployment, logistics, medical support, communication between the various teams and the community at large, each aspect has been carefully considered and is being documented.
Some of the most important components of the evolving plan are the procedures once a disaster or potential disaster is identified. To this end Rapid Response teams have already been or are in the process of being setup in the various sectors of the greater St Francis. But equally important to the rapid response is the management plan that follows and to this end the necessity of a disaster management command centre was deemed an essential. Negotiations with Kouga Municipality have resulted in a portion of the St Francis Bay Fire Station being allocated for this purpose. Those driving past the fire station this weekend would have noticed building as Vincent Lyons of Lyons Construction kindly donated the labour and materials to convert the space into what will become the nerve centre of operations in the event of a disaster in the future.
In the coming weeks more information will be communicated to the community as volunteers will be sought to ensure each aspect of the disaster management plan is properly manned with trained personnel.