By Humphrey Carter
THE Balearics' new special emergency commission will meet for the first time today to discuss how the new service will operate and how the new emergency service, set up on January 23 to replace Civil Protection, will work.

Representatives from all the main local administrations, health and security services will attend the meeting with the Balearic Interior Minister who will detail how the new emergency and protection service functions.

The primary aim of today's inaugural meeting is to ensure the maximum level of safety and security in the event of a possible major emergency in the Balearics and that all parties involved know exactly what to do.

The new director of the emergency and protection service, Joan Pol, said on Tuesday during the presentation of the new 112, Balearic Emergency Service centre, that the Balearics is capable of dealing with a bio-chemical terrorist attack.

Pol said that the new department has a team of experts on the force fully trained and equipped to deal with such an emergency.
He said that since the September 11 attacks on the United States, the concept of emergency planning has changed completely and terrorist attacks are situations which have to be fully accounted for.

He said that the key to dealing with any kind of terrorist attack is being able to respond as quickly as possible.
The new SEIB 112 department has a staff of 30, 28 of whom have been highly trained to deal with any kind of emergency, from earthquakes to forest fires and floods.

In each of the islands will be a team of psychologists to respond to the human side of any catastrophe.
Pol explained that the main role of the SEIB is to improve the co-ordination of the emergency services and to be able to provide highly trained experts to deal with a wide range of incidents.

He added that there will also be a much closer relationship with the public. All relevant information about any kind of accidents will be provided so that the general public are more aware of what they should do in the event of a major emergency situation.

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