www.drummondltd.com 19 Revista Drummond talked to Eddie Alfonso Pabón Bustamante, Coordinator of the Municipal Council for Risk Management and Disaster Response, about the essential role that Drummond played in this emergency. Revista Drummond: Exactly what happened during the emergency that took place over one year ago in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta? Eddie Pabón: We’re talking about a forest fire that destroyed approximately 3,000 hectares of forest, with its main impact in La Secreta and Jolonura. The fire became particularly dangerous because it affected the tops of the trees. When a fire becomes a “crown” fire, intervention by firefighters becomes nearly impossible, and it has to be put out from the air. Not to mention the fact that when the crown of a tree burns, it is left without its vegetative parts and it never recovers. This is in addition to the fact that, in the Jolonura sector, more than 30 families were affected, and in the area of La Secreta (Carro Quemado, Guacamayo and El Filo del Águila sector) nearly 200 families were affected. R.D.: At what point in the emergency did the need to involve Drummond arise? E.P.: Almost from the beginning. One of the most affected areas, Jolonura, is a spot that is right in front of Puerto Drummond. Given the characteristics of the fire, it was important to define a strategic point where the local disaster relief system could be located, and from which the team could arrive in a timely manner at each of the two areas. That is why we asked to contact the Port manager to obtain an authorization so that we could set up a crisis room there to provide support to respond to the emergency. A crisis room is the meeting place for the different representatives from the institutions that make up the national disaster risk management system: the Mayor, Secretary, Risk Management Coordinator, Operational Agencies, in this case the firefighters, the Red Cross, civil defense, police, Air Force, that is, each of the actors that are coming together according to the needs created by the emergency. This request was answered positively and immediately. Since our arrival, we not only had the support of the head of industrial activities and the Port Manager, but also of every one of their employees. R.D.: What did the support provided by Drummond consist of? E.P.: In addition to the physical space to set up the crisis office, Drummond made available its communications room, the management meeting room for teleconferences, the company’s heliport. Some internal routes were established to ensure the flow and circulation of the transportation that was needed (Colombian Red Cross, civil defense, firefighters from around the nation, firefighters from Ciénaga, Santa Marta, Fundación, Zona Bananera, forestry engineers, the national police, the rescue police, the judicial police, the Colombian Army, Departmental coordination and municipal risk management, representatives from the national risk management unit, the rural community and the Air Force). All of this along with the logistical needs of the 185 people who made up this system in terms of refreshments, midday meals, dinner in the evening and at night, because we’re talking about long workdays. Additionally, Drummond made their staff available as needed to support us in bringing together and assembling the infrastructure. They provided their heliport so that the four aircraft that participated in the operation could land and stock up on water, as well as the portable pools that required constant refilling to dispatch the aircraft properly. They also provided vehicles and machinery and all of the company’s 10,000-gallon tanker trucks were made available during the emergency. R.D.: Aside from this specific emergency, have you received support from Drummond on other occasions? E.P.: Absolutely. After this one, there were other fires, fortunately not of the same magnitude, and we have reopened the crisis room. Since then we have been very well-coordinated, which allows us to respond to emergencies in a more timely and immediate manner. In this sense, the work provided by Puerto Drummond is a fundamental source of support. R.D.: What would have happened if you had not had the support of Drummond in response to this emergency? E.P.: If Puerto Drummond had not provided us with this support and cooperation, we might not be talking about the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta today. Eddie Alfonso Pabón Bustamante, City Council coordinator for disasters and risk management.
To see the actual publication please follow the link above