By Bejay Browne
The British High Commission in partnership with Cyprus Civil Defence is organising a briefing in Peyia in Paphos this evening to promote better communication with the English speaking community and to encourage those with emergency experience to get involved.
The Cyprus Civil Defence Information Day will be held at the Cooperative Bank of Peyia between 5pm and 6.30pm on Monday evening.
The Commissioner of Civil Defence, Andreas Frantzis, said that along with a presentation of the bodies’ tasks and activities, the Cyprus Civil Defence would also like to hear the views and concerns of British residents about civil defence issues.
“I am looking forward to the opportunity of speaking to the local community of Peyia,” he said.
British Vice Consul, Christina Smith told the Cyprus Mail: “I hope that we can help people to understand what the Cyprus Civil Defence do and encourage residents to help. There are many English speaking people living in Peyia and many possess valuable experience which could be utilised in the instance a disaster.”
She added that she is pleased to be able to assist the Cyprus Civil Defence to inform the community about their invaluable work.
The public briefing on emergency preparedness is open to all Peyia residents and local councillor Linda Leblanc said the initiative is a welcome development, as she has been pushing for a similar co-operation with the municipality since her election to office, but to no avail.
“This is the first time which the Civil Defence are undertaking such an initiate in Peyia and I think it’s a very good idea. There are many residents with relevant skills that are of benefit to our community, from former fire fighters, policemen, paramedics and even qualified undertakers who have specialised in dealing with instances of mass bodies.”
Leblanc is hoping to garner some concrete proposals on how to organise English speakers in the event of a disaster. “Of course we all hope these cases will never happen but we need to be prepared in case of a war or an environmental disaster, such as an earthquake, serious flooding or a large fire.”
The councillor noted that the initiative will promote basic community skills. Designated meeting points and drills for certain situations also need to be incorporated. “This is a way to develop better communication and we all need to work together. No one would be on their own or not know what is going on,” she said.
Leblanc added that although in instances of disaster, modern communication must be used as much as possible to keep people informed, if all communications were knocked out people would at least know where to assemble.
At 5pm there will be a welcome address by Frantzis. This will be followed by a presentation titled,’ Cyprus Civil Defence: Tasks and activities’ by Marinos Papadopoulos, a Civil Defence Officer A class. An open discussion will then follow.
The UK Consular Services will also be available at the end of the meeting to discuss matters of interest with residents.
The Presentation will be held at the hall of Cooperative Bank of Peyia- 18, Synergatismou Street, Peyia, Paphos from 5pm to 6.30pm.