The Barbados Defence Force (BDF) is deploying a contingent to assist the Commonwealth of Dominica in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.
This disclosure has come from the BDF’s Public Relations Officer, Captain Maria Moore, who said humanitarian assistance and disaster relief would be provided to the island, which was extensively damaged following the passage of the category five hurricane on Monday night.
The BDF contingent is expected to be deployed within the next 12 hours aboard the HMBS Leonard C. Banfield.
Captain Moore added that Barbadians could also provide support to Dominicans by donating bottle water, medical/first aid supplies, canned foods, baby items and general hygiene products to the BDF at St. Ann’s Fort, The Garrison, or the Barbados Coast Guard at HMBS Pelican, Spring Garden. These items will be taken when the Coast Guard vessel sets sail with BDF and Barbados Fire Service contingents.
As part of the BDF’s mandate, support is provided to the Regional Security System, Member States, the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency, CARICOM and the wider region.
Meantime, a team of firemen from the Barbados Fire Service will also leave Barbados today via the Barbados Coast Guard HMBS Leonard C. Banfield for Dominica to render much-needed assistance to that country.
Chief Fire Officer, Errol Maynard, confirmed that four teams were mobilised following an emergency meeting at the Bridgetown Fire Station today. Those teams would be rotated in the island over the next six weeks, while all off-duty personnel were called into action to maintain numbers locally.
Mr. Maynard said the first team would include a commanding officer and six fire officers who were emergency management technicians and rescue personnel, to provide assistance to the country in those areas.
In addition, a four-man team is expected to be deployed to render assistance in Tortola tomorrow, Wednesday, September 20.
The Chief Fire Officer said the rescue effort was being coordinated through the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency.