Grenada Civil Defense hosted a National Interagency Instant Command System class recently for Grenada emergency workers, in accordance with Governor Ronnie Musgrove's order for emergency training after the September 11 terrorist attacks.
Instructors from Mississippi Emergency Management worked with Grenada Volunteer firemen, Grenada police officers, the Sheriff's department, Grenada Lake Medical center ambulance and hospital staff, civil defense workers and Department of Health and Human Services workers.
During the two days of classes, emergency workers learned how to work together with surrounding communities during a catastrophic event too great to be handled with the Grenada forces alone. According to Civil Defense Director George Frazier, workers in the classes learned how to prevent duplication of service and equipment and manpower shortfalls, along with overall interagency coordination and cooperation.
Frazier said that in a catastrophic event, "we all would work through a single unit. Everybody learns the same terms."
In case of a catastrophe, Frazier said workers need to know the chain of command, which he compared to a football game, "the head coach determines the strategy, but the offensive and defensive coach decides which plays to use." Frazier says that it is the same way when several agencies come together in a catastrophe; the person in charge decides what should be done and the local department heads decide how it should be done.
Frazier would like to have the class again, possibly on a quarterly basis for those who could not make these classes, but that is up to state officials.