GIS - 29 August, 2014: The Central Prison at Beau Bassin conducted this morning a major fire simulation exercise under the supervision of the Commissioner of Prisons, Mr Jean Bruneau and Mr William Cullen, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime Adviser on prison matters in the presence of other major stakeholders.
This exercise is being carried out in line with the recommendations of a ten year strategic plan 2013-2023 for the Mauritius Prison Services (MPS) with emphasis on six main pillars namely: improved security of prison; setting up of a strategic planning and research unit; integrated detainee management; operationalisation of Eastern high security prison.; rehabilitation and resettlement of detainees; and capacity building.
Under the pillar of improved security of prison, the MPS has developed a comprehensive Emergency Planning Framework (EPF) with the assistance of Mr William Cullen to address various emergencies and contingencies that the MPS might face. The EPF, which is the best practice emergency plan developed overseas and modified to suit Mauritius is being elaborated since May this year under the supervision of Mr Cullen.
As mentioned in the EPF it is mandatory for each prison to conduct two simulation exercises per year. Hence, the fire drill exercise is the first of a series of simulation exercises to be conducted in other prisons across the country and to address any fire outbreak at the prisons, the MPS has also developed a comprehensive fire plan.
Commenting on the fire simulation exercise, the Commissioner of Prisons, Mr Jean Bruneau, expressed his gratitude for the highly professional assistance extended by all the emergency services. According to him, the MPS can learn a lot from these events that will eventually help to save lives as well as ensure that prisons remain secure.
According to the Deputy Commissioner in charge of Central prison, Mrs Guneeta Aubeeluck, the fire simulation exercise is one among the interventions under the EPF which has worked successfully. She further said that the prison service has established an emergency command centre and that each prison is developing its own emergency plan and will conduct emergency simulation exercises on a regular basis.
For his part, the Divisional Fire Officer at the Government Fire Services, Mr Ayacouty Dorsamy, qualified the fire drill exercise as a real challenge especially at the central prison which he said is a high security area.
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