FEMA carries out local training for first responders, leaders

FEMA Emergency Management Specialists were in the territory all last week conducting workshops and training for EOC Liaison and point of contact staff as well as Department heads and their deputies, to ensure readiness and cooperation in the face of emergencies and disasters. [photo: Leua Aiono Frost]

The local Department of Homeland Security (ASDHS) conducted training last week on Emergency Operations Center (EOC) management and operations with the training coming at a time when American Samoa is already into hurricane season.

Facilitated by the Federal Management Agency Region IX, the course included participants from the ASDHS/TEMCO EOC 24/7 officers and emergency management staff and all EOC liaisons from the various departments and agencies of the American Samoa Government who are represented at the primary EOC in times of disasters.

ASDHS director Mike Sala says the training familiarizes participants with the functions of the EOC and the process of EOC activation in the event of a disaster.

 The EOC liaisons communicate with their respective departments and coordinate assistance as well as the sharing of pertinent and up-to-date information as it becomes available during and after a disaster, he explained.

The two-day course for liaisons ended last Tuesday. Later in the week, training was geared mainly for directors, deputy directors and  senior management personnel who are decision makers during disasters when the EOC is activated.

“We are now into our hurricane season, and it is important for our territory to be well prepared for all types of disasters, and for first responders and support agencies to understand how the EOC operates, the flow of resources and assistance to those in the community who need it, and especially what their roles are in the process,” said Sala.


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