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Barbados is among 10 Caribbean countries to benefit from Basic Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) training, which formed part of a US$500,000 project entitled: Building the Resilience for Small Tourism Enterprises in the Caribbean to Disasters.

Programme Officers from the Department of Emergency Management (DEM), Damien Griffith and Joy-Anne Johnson participated in the training, which ran from February 1 to 5 and was co-hosted by the Organization of American States (OAS) and the United States of America Federal Emergency Management Agency.

During the course, participants engaged in practical exercises and discussions focused on topics such as disaster preparedness, disaster medical drills, disaster psychology, fire safety, utility controls, disaster medical operations, light search and rescue and terrorism.

Mr. Griffith noted that the course also highlighted areas where the DEM could strengthen its own community-based response through District Emergency Organisations (DEOs) by enhancing its existing training programmes based on the acquired knowledge.

This, he said, would assist the department in promoting the Comprehensive Disaster Management policy, which would allow the DEM, DEOs and the wider community to benefit from enhanced functionality during an emergency.

“The course was well taught and received.  It was of great personal and organisational value.  I am thankful to the sponsors for providing such an opportunity and look forward to future engagements,” Mr. Griffith added.

The project was implemented by the OAS Executive Secretariat for Integral Development, Department of Sustainable Development. Other participating countries in the course included the Bahamas, Belize, Dominica, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago.

julia.rawlins-bentham@barbados.gov.bb

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