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Dive Safety Drill in Pago harbor tomorrow

Tomorrow (Thursday, May 23) a Dive Safety Drill will be conducted in Pago Pago Harbor. Coordinated by the National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa (NMSAS), this preparedness drill is designed to evaluate the response capabilities in areas such as Search and Rescue and Health Care Providers, in the event that an actual SCUBA diving emergency occurs.


 Prior to the drill, yesterday and today, important skills for first responders were reviewed and this review was conducted at the Tauese P.F. Sunia Ocean Center. Those in attendance are representatives from the Department of Public Safety Marine Patrol and Fire Department, Emergency Medical Services, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Office of Law Enforcement, US Coast Guard Auxiliaries and other marine and emergency professionals.


Speaking to the assembled professionals yesterday, Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Public Safety Lesei’au Laumoli made it clear that they must work together if lives are to be saved. “When it comes to emergency incidents, we have to protect lives. We have to work together as a team to save lives,” said the Deputy Commissioner.


There were reviews given on First Aid and CPR for On-Water injuries/incidents that were conducted by the Emergency Medical Services. Other Marine and Emergency professionals gave presentations on treating burns, broken bones, shock, CPR/Automated External Defibrillator); drowning and wildlife stings, such as jellyfish attacks.


Reviews were conducted by the EMS, NOAA, NMSAS and the National Park Service.


Today will be a presentation on dive related accidents and illnesses and dive scenario safety review with instructors. There will also be a Hyperbaric Chamber overview and demonstration today at 3:15 p.m.


Tomorrow (9:00 a.m.-10:45 a.m.) the drill exercise begins and all activated response units will execute a launch to the scene in Pago Pago Harbor to assist in recovery of victims to transport to the LBJ Medical Center for assessment and decompression treatment. The participants in tomorrow’s drill exercise will be the Department of Public Safety Marine Patrol, NOAA, NPS, EMS, LBJ, Industrial Gases/Pago Marine Charters and the US Coast Guard.


According to the NMSAS, the objectives and the intent of the drill in American Samoa is to enhance awareness, safety and communications of marine and emergency professionals through a planned exercise. To facilitate that, they seek participation from the US Coast Guard, the Department of Interior, the NPS, the territory of American Samoa and a range of marine professional partners.


The exercise has been designed, according to the NMSAS, to meet three primary goals:


1            Demonstrate human and technological capabilities, integrating programs for the common goal of protecting human life and coastal natural resources.


2            Develop individual skills in program management, coordination, contingency planning, emergency response, health and safety.


3            Build relationships across the public and private sector that foster long-term collaboration to protect the environment.