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Disaster team unveiled by Caines

  • Disaster Risk Reduction and Mitigation Team director Steve Cosham introduces his new team. Wayne Caines, the national security minister, is second from left. (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

A new team designed to deal with national emergencies was unveiled today.

The Disaster Risk Reduction and Mitigation Team will be responsible for all the island’s disaster plans and making sure agencies and government departments are committed to continuing development.

National security minister Wayne Caines, the national security minister, said the team, led by Bermuda Police Service veteran Steve Cosham, had a total of 160 years experience in emergency management.

Mr Caines said: “In the event of a disaster that requires the involvement of the Emergency Measures Organisation, the director and his team will meet with the EMO to present available plans and advise them on different courses of action and where to focus their resources.”

The team members have been involved in all of Bermuda’s national emergency plans including the areas of cybersecurity, airport emergencies and chemical hazards.

Mr Cosham was seconded to the ministry in 2015 to coordinate the activities of the EMO, to create and support the islands disaster plans and to coordinate security for national events, including the America’s Cup.

During his career with the BPS he has been a watch commander, commander of the emergency dispatch centre, commander of the marine unit and coordinator of the explosive ordnance disposal team.

He was also a firearms commander.

Mr Cosham’s team includes representatives from the Royal Bermuda Regiment, the fire service, HM Customs and a police sergeant.

Mr Cosham said: “In November 2017, the team engaged and assisted with annual training and exercises at Belco.

“The airport emergency plan exercise took place in January where the airport staged a fuel spill while a plane was full of passengers — we brought together 27 agencies.”

The team will stage the evacuation of a cruise ship at Heritage Wharf in Dockyard on Thursday.

Mr Cosham said: “This will be the catalyst in forming a cruise ship response.”

Mr Caines added the ministry wants to appoint an interpreter for the deaf and hard of hearing to make sure they can understand press conferences on national disasters and emergencies.