FREEPORT, Grand Bahama, The Bahamas – Disaster Medical Operations and Disaster Psychology were the topics covered during a five-day CERT training session at the Foster B. Pestaina Centre at Christ the King Anglican Church on Tuesday, September 6. The training, coordinated by Lisa Bowleg, who is the training coordinator and operations manager at NEMA, began on Monday, September 5, and will run through Friday, September 9, when participants will not only take part in a simulation exercise but also take a post-training test.
CERT, Community Emergency Response Team, provides training throughout communities in the country. To complete the training exercise, residents must participate in the full five days of training, missing no sessions.
The Bahamas is the first Caribbean country to have a cohort of CERT instructors.
“The purpose of the training is to equip residents with basic lifesaving skills after a disaster so that they are able to take care of themselves and others in their communities until the professionals come,” explained Ms. Bowleg.
If there is a disaster in the community and the first responders are not immediately available, she said, the CERT-trained individuals are taught how to manage the disaster as well as determine what type of equipment to use, how to document and take proper notes for the first responders, how to organize and set up their teams and take note of how many team members go out and how many return.