Disaster relief training underway in St Vincent

The annual CARICOM Disaster Relief Unit (CDRU) Training Workshop officially commenced in St Vincent and the Grenadines on Monday.

Twenty-eight people from military, fire and police operations in Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) participating states will be trained for disaster response until June 18.

 At a recent press conference, CDEMA executive director Ronald Jackson said they have been trying to build capacity over the past year and they have made some improvements.

“We would have done training of teams such as the Caribbean Disaster Relief Unit…we have a target we’re trying to get to 250 persons trained and ready,” he said.

CDEMA, in collaboration with regional partners, conducted two CDRU trainings in May and July of 2018. Thirty-three officers were trained in Antigua and 27 officers were trained in Barbados, respectively.

This year’s programme will feature key sessions in Comprehensive Disaster Management, Emergency Relief and Warehousing Management, the Relief Supply Tracking System and Emergency Communications.

Participants will also engage in the US SOUTHCOM Exercise Tradewinds 2019, Phase 2: Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Reduction (HADR) facilitated by the United States Southern Command, starting today.

The training falls into the Regional Coordination Plan where participants will be oriented to execute the three main functions needed in a disaster environment. These are to provide relief management support to national and regional authorities, provide emergency telecommunications support to the authorities of an impacted CDEMA participating state and appropriate personnel for the restoration of critical lifeline facilities post impact.

 The training is hosted by CDEMA and the Regional Security System Headquarters.  (PR/SAT)