Emergency Systems Development
As natural disasters loom, many local communities are drastically underserved with emergency agencies under-equipped, and inexperienced. Our region, our nation, and people across the world are under constant threat of volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, tsunami, hurricanes, pandemics, tornadoes, and innumerable other potential calamities.
While Empact strives to be available at a moment's notice to respond anywhere in the world, the best rescuer is often the closest. This is why we've implemented an ongoing international emergency systems development program, providing essential training, consulting, and other services to small, at-risk communities the world over. Our past projects have included tier 1 and 2 rescuer training for municipal and national agencies, emergency medical technician training in Haiti and Belize, emergency dispatch implementation and dispatcher training, and incident management training around the world.
We believe that to survive a major disaster it takes a whole-community
approach, so we work hard to foster interagency and cross-cultural cohesion and interaction to address the threats of a natural disaster during our projects. The sad fact remains that many communities often don’t prioritize the threat of disaster highly enough, but whether natural or man-made, it’s not if a disaster will happen, it’s when. Disasters happen when they are least expected and the resulting loss of life can be catastrophic without an educated and resilient community.
In 2021, at the invitation of the Belizean government and with the support of multiple non-profit, private sector, and NGO partners, Empact embarked on a multi-year project to improve the emergency response and management capabilities of the nation in Belize. This exciting project is currently made up of four important components:
Emergency Dispatch Implentation
In partnership with Trek Medics International, the Belize National Fire Service (BNFS), and Belize Heroes, Empact, has successfully implemented the first-ever centralized emergency access number for the citizens of the Cayo District in Belize, creating a first-of-its-kind 3-digit emergency number for fire and emergency services and implementing a mobile-first computer-aided dispatch (CAD) system at a fraction of the traditional cost. In addition to bringing lifesaving services to the people of Cayo and improving first responder safety, this program has created an entirely new class of professional employment, that of emergency dispatcher, with 92% of those new positions filled by women.
Rescue Training & Program Development
Empact is an international leader in rescue response and training and, since 2022, has been actively engaged with the Belize National Fire Service and the Belize Institute of Search and Rescue Training to significantly improve their abilities to respond to rope rescue and structural collapse events, as well as vehicle collisions on Belize's busy highways. This training has been focused both on enabling the individual rescuer to respond effectively, efficiently, and safely, as well as on working as part of a larger, coordinated rescue team. In addition, Empact is currently working with the leadership of the National Fire Service on developing and implementing national and regional rescue response capabilities, following the United Nations INSARAG model. This exciting, multi-year project will enable Belize's professional rescuers not only to respond to the needs of their citizens but also to serve the entire Caribbean region.
Risk Profiling and Emergency Systems Strategic Planning
In 2021, Empact completed Belize's first-ever nationwide disaster risk profile and national risk & capability assessment. Following the United States THIRA-SPR model and working closely with local stakeholders, we helped the government of Belize take a deep dive into the risks posed by hurricanes, conflagrations, earthquakes, climate change, and other threats and guided them through the process of evaluating stakeholder preparedness throughout the nation. Using this model, we developed a robust guide for the use of community leaders, emergency managers, government ministries, and other essential partners not only in forecasting risks, but also ensuring that the people of Belize were prepared for foreseeable disasters, big and small.
Incident Command Systems Development & Training
Our newest addition to the suite of development services offered in Belize, the Incident Command System development module will provide the cornerstone of future responses. By training for and implementing an internationally recognized incident command system, Empact will enable the emergency management and response communities of Belize to not only respond to their own emergencies more effectively and efficiently, but also help to ensure interoperability between government ministries and agencies and regional and international assets in the event of a large-scale disaster or other emergency.