Bournemouth University

School of Tourism

BU professors called to Venezuela to teach disaster management

Page published: 2 December 2011

Richard Gordon, Director of the BU Disaster Management Centre (BUDMC), accompanied by Michael Evans (former Director of BUDMC) were invited by the British Embassy to the city of Caracas, Venezuela, to present a five day course on international disaster management principles and best practices to officers of Venezuela’s National Directorate of Civil Protection and Disaster Management.

The training was generously hosted by PDVSA at their headquarters el CIED La Tahona during the week 14-18 November. Topics included risk analysis and risk reduction, the management of natural and man made hazards, evacuation planning, management of media and public information, and some of the core systems of major incident management such as Casualty Handling, Casualty Tracking and Disaster Victim Identification.

On completing the trip Richard Gordon said:

“Venezuelan people are extremely welcoming and enthusiastic; we really enjoyed working alongside such experienced officers from civil protection, the medical community, and the national petroleum company PDVSA. Together, they brought a huge amount of practical knowledge to the course and we learned so much from working with them. They were all great.”

Training included practical activities such as a planning exercise on evacuation from floods as well as a final exercise which tested integrated management skills in responding to a plane crash.

Richard Gordon observed that Venezuela is a country with considerable knowledge of disaster management having suffered a number of natural and man made disasters in recent years. They are continually seeking to improve their plans and procedures and send their staff around the world to learn from the experience of other countries. It was a privilege to spend 5 days sharing our knowledge with them.

Ambassador Catherine Nettleton, who presented the course certificates on Friday 18 in the afternoon said, after speaking to the participants, that it was clear that everyone understood the vital importance of integrating and coordinating any response to disaster.

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