Savannah volunteers ready for emergencies

| 20/08/2019
CNS Local Life
Eddie Tingling-Miller, Disaster Manager of Cayman Islands Red Cross (left), and Teresita DaSilva, Acting Deputy Director of HMCI (right), with Savannah Meadows CERT members at graduation

(CNS Local Life): Savannah Meadows has become the seventh community to establish a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) following a graduation ceremony held 14 August at Bodden Town Civic Centre. The 10 volunteers comprising the team completed 26 hours of training across over five weeks which covered topics on search and rescue, vulnerability and capacity assessment, damage assessment and fire safety.

The newly established team includes volunteers from the Cayman Islands Fire Service, Government Facilities Management, the National Weather Service and other organisations. Hazard Management Cayman Islands (HMCI) and Cayman Islands Red Cross jointly trained the group, said a press release. The volunteers will be responsible for compiling lists of resource personnel and equipment within their community, identifying potential hazards and who may be the most vulnerable in their community as well as promoting awareness of disaster preparedness.

One of HMCI’s key mandates is to foster greater resilience across the Cayman Islands. The CERT programme aims to embed preparation, response and hazard mitigation into the heart of communities and develop resilience at a grassroots level.

“CERT members take on many active roles within their community. Their skill sets prepare them to alleviate suffering before, during and after an event,” Teresita DaSilva, Acting Deputy Director of HMCI, said. “We are very grateful to those who have volunteered for their commitment to making their community a stronger and more resilient place.”

In times of natural disaster, emergency services may become over-stretched and communities can be inaccessible. CERTs are crucial to increasing national disaster response capacity and provide valuable on-the-ground information for critical decision making during the aftermath, the release stated.

Heather Bodden spearheaded the formation of the Savannah Meadows CERT; the training is free and open to all residents aged 16 and over. Teams are already in place in North Side, North Sound Garden Community, West Bay, Windsor Park, Cayman Brac and Prospect. 

For more information on completing CERT training or establishing a team contact Teresita DaSilva at 945-4624

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Category: Community, Local News

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