Prospect repeats as CERT competition winner

| 14/12/2017
CNS Local Life

HMCI DIrector McCleary Frederick

(CNS Local Life): For the second year in a row, the Prospect Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) came away winners in the annual CERT challenge in a competition featuring a completely different format than previous years. Instead of teams getting trained and then competing using the skills learned, the 2017 challenge motivated the groups to dive back into their own communities, re-assess their strengths and challenges, consider how best to build capacity by identifying community needs, attempt to fix the issue or mitigate against it, or do something beneficial to uplift and improve their local area and people.

CERTs across the island were given a detailed brief that required them to identify the vulnerabilities and capacities in their own communities, look at the risks, meet with key stakeholders and determine ways they could build community capacity and resilience, stated a press release. They were also asked to present three potential mitigation projects within a specific budget that they would like to see happen in their community.

Prior to the challenge, Hazard Management Cayman Islands (HMCI) and the Cayman Islands Red Cross (CIRC) agreed that the team proposals would be required to conform to certain principle of equity, equanimity and integrity, and each team would be given 20 minutes to pitch their ideas to the panel, followed by a 10-minute question-and-answer session.

Deputy Governor Franz Manderson, HMCI Director McCleary Frederick and CIRC Director Jondo Obi comprised the panel that adjudicated the various proposals.

“It was a difficult task as all teams had put considerable time and effort into their presentations and we were impressed with the level of commitment demonstrated by CERT members,” said Frederick.

Whilst it was a very close call among North Sound Gardens, West Bay and Prospect, the latter CERT was awarded first place and $6,000 towards a siren system for the community. Second-place finisher West Bay received $3,000 towards equipment and establishing a CERT headquarters and North Sound Gardens were given $1,000 to put towards a wheelchair ramp and community equipment.

All funds will be spent over an agreed period of time with the HMCI and Red Cross providing appropriate monitoring and oversight.

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