Anegada community receives training in Emergency Response

Government of BVI (GIS), BVI, November 7th, 2012 - Twelve residents of Anegada will become better equipped to respond to emergencies after a week-long training being facilitated by the Department of Disaster Management (DDM) in collaboration with Caribbean Emergency Responders Training Academy (C-E-R-T-A).

 

The Caribbean Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) is funding the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training in Anegada through the ACP-EU Disaster Risk Management Sub-Regional Programme where Anegada, as one of the 12 pilot communities, will benefit from the “Improved Community Preparedness” component of the Disaster Risk Management Sub-Regional Programme.

The CERT training, which is held from 5 to 9 November, is being undertaken as part of the capacity enhancement training to improve the community’s capacity to initiate/implement and sustain mitigation actions and/or measures to reduce their vulnerabilities and risks.Dwayne Straun of C-E-R-T-A is seen here presenting to the residents of Anegada being trained

These teams are vital for disaster situations when the number and scope of incidents clearly overwhelm conventional emergency services. CERT training provides community self-sufficiency through the development of multi-functional response teams that can assist local emergency services during a crisis or major disaster situation.

Empowered by this unique training, people from community organisations can assemble as a CERT, or perform as individual leaders to direct untrained volunteers in the initial phase of a disaster.

In speaking with Ms. Evangeline Inniss, CDEMA’s representative, she said, “the residents of Anegada will receive training in disaster awareness, disaster fire suppression techniques, incident command system, disaster medical operations, light search and rescue, disaster psychology and team organisation and management. The training will culminate with a simulation exercise and a comprehensive course review.”

Ms. Inniss further said, “CDEMA will ensure that there is capacity within the Virgin Islands to continue this training. An instructor course will be held in Montserrat from 12 to 16 November and six persons from the Virgin Islands will be participating along with persons from Antigua and Barbuda, Montserrat, St. Kitts Nevis and Anguilla”

Messrs. Ron Mobley and Dwayne Straun of C-E-R-T-A, a local company based in Virgin Gorda will facilitate the training with assistance from Carishma Hicks, Training Officer and Cecil Jeffrey, Assistant Information Officer at the DDM.

In his Opening Statements to the participants Sister Islands Coordinator, Mr. Vincent Wheatley said, “The ability of a business or community to recover from the devastating effects of a natural or man-induced event requires active planning, participation and cooperation of all members of society. The responsibility of preparedness, however, lies with each individual. By encouraging preparedness efforts, hazard identification and mitigation, CERTs can minimise the effects of a hazard or disaster event and facilitate the recovery.”Participants taking part in fire suppressant training as part of the Community Emergency Response Training

The benefits of the CERT programme are numerous. At the end of the training, Anegada will have a well-trained civilian emergency work force. It will increase the overall level of public disaster readiness in Anegada, provide emergency skills that people may use in day-to-day emergencies, enhance the bond between government and communities, and increased community spirit.

CDEMA Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency. Resilience Way, Lower Estate, St. Michael Tel: (246) 434-4880, Fax: (246) 271-3660
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