“There are more and more women in the emergency and scientific sectors”


Montse Román is the director of the Advanced Command Post (PMA) of the General Directorate of Security and Emergencies of the Government of the Canary Islands. He knows that he lives in a sector that, historically, has been commanded by men, but that in recent years there has been an increase in women both in base positions and in positions, as is his case. “Little by little, we are seeing more figures of women from the scientific world and from emergencies,” he points out. And he adds: “It is something positive, which I think has to be normalized until it is not necessary to put the accent on it.”

The reflection of the presence of women in the two sectors mentioned is that during the more than 40 minutes of the interview, he only refers to three names, all of them female: his partner Marta Moreno, with whom he takes turns in the managerial position; and the directors of the National Geographic Institute (IGN), Carmen López and María José Blanco. Precisely, they were the ones who alerted Montse Román at dawn on Monday, September 13. It happened around two o’clock when he received a call from both to convene the scientific committee for the seismic swarm detected south of La Palma. “Except for the following Tuesday, since then we have met every day,” he adds. Two days later the Volcanic Emergency Plan of the Canary Islands (Pevolca) was activated, of which the director of the PMA. Faced with the question of his assessment of the emergency, Montse Román highlights: “What I can say is very positive is the effort to coordinate all administrations”, from the State, through the Government of The Canary Islands, the Cabildo de La Palma and the town councils of La Palma, “which to this day has functioned correctly.”

About what he has learned during the more than 80 days that the emergency has been active, Román responds: «Obviously, about volcanology», «about gases and I think it will be the most complicated element to manage in this emergency» because when there is no eruption “people will need to go back to their homes” and WFP will have to find a balance; and believes that the knowledge they have acquired will help improve future emergencies of this type “to make them more operational.”

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