What is a MERP?

An MERP is a plan of action for the efficient deployment and coordination of services, agencies and personnel to provide the earliest possible response to an emergency. In Africa, public agencies that provide these services are often limited in capacity or non-existent. Therefore, more time and resources are required to prepare and implement a MERP, compared to the developed world. Many of the mining/oil & gas project sites in Africa are located remotely onshore, often even offshore. Therefore it is important that companies have stringent, tested MERP’s in place to save precious moments when every second counts.

The team at Flying Doctors Nigeria supports organizations across Africa with the design of customized emergency response plans. A list of four of the many important components of a MERP are listed below:

  1. A list of healthcare facilities and their capabilities

For some companies, the site clinic is the first stop during an emergency. Site clinics often vary in the sophistication of the support they can offer based on corporate decisions, distance from a large hospital and staff capacity. It is important to know what healthcare facilities are capable of treating which type of emergencies especially in Africa; where large tertiary facilities capable of managing every type of emergency are rare. Furthermore, ability to access these facilities is also important.

  1. Personnel

Knowing which personnel should be called in a medical emergency and how to contact them is essential. All names and contact details; from first responders/first aiders to company doctors to human resources & health/safety managers should all be included on the MERP with the chain of command. A system should also be developed to facilitate rapid approvals in an emergency.

  1. Medical Transport/Medevac Planning

Do you need an air ambulance cover plan, or simply a ground ambulance to take casualties to the closest hospital? What type of equipment do you need in your ambulance?

The answers to these questions are varied based on the type of work your organization does, where it does it, whether there are women or children on your project site, the condition of the roads etc. However, it must be discussed and documented in the MERP.

We hope that these three tips will help you prepare or revise your emergency response plans as you work in Africa.  For more information on how we can support with any other services mentioned in this post, please contact us at management@flyingdoctorsnigeria.com

About Flying Doctors Nigeria

The Flying Doctors Nigeria Air Ambulance service specializes in offering air ambulance/medevac, Medevac cover, ground ambulances, commercial escort and training services. If you still require further information, contact us at sales@flyingdoctorsnigeria.com /0700FLYINGDRS or visit our website www.flyingdoctorsnigeria.com