4 March 2020
Exercise ‘Green Elephant’ was recently undertaken to test the Island’s strategic response in the event of a major incident being declared on St Helena.
Strategic direction in any major incident is provided by ‘Gold’ Command chaired by the Governor or Head of the Governor’s Office in HE’s absence. The overarching role of the Gold group is to protect life, property and the environment by setting the policy, strategy and the overall response framework for an incident and for both the tactical (Silver) and operational (Bronze) command levels to act on and implement.
The Exercise reflected a potential incident that could realistically occur on St Helena and the purpose was to test how the Gold group was able to provide strategic oversight to the incident including the ability to mobilise wider on-Island and overseas resources to support the first responders.
The Exercise was played out in two phases – during the actual incident, and the recovery or returning to business as usual phase.
‘Green Elephant’ aimed to improve the way key parties work together when responding to an incident. Chief Inspector David Price, explained:
“While we all hope that there will never be such a serious incident on St Helena, this type of exercise is vital in ensuring that St Helena Government, its senior staff and other agencies understand what would be required of them in a crisis and how working together will help them to resolve it as quickly and successfully as possible.”
A ‘hot’ debrief was held immediately after completion of the Exercise to identify areas of improvement, in preparation for a real event. This learning, including from a series of debriefs that will be held over the coming weeks will help to refine Government’s response to any future incidents.
Emergency Planning Manager, Simon Wade, concluded:
“I felt the exercise went well and there was an appreciation by all involved of the importance of having multi-agency training/exercising. As with any exercise there were learning points, therefore the next task will be reviewing what we have learnt and adapting the Major Incident Response Plan so that it remains effective.”
Further exercises including with Silver and Bronze Command are planned in the near future to allow key parties to continually learn and practice should a real incident occur, as well as help all agencies understand each other’s abilities and roles.
#StHelena #AltogetherSafer #GreenElephant #JESIP
4 March 2020