NEW BIGHT, Cat Island – Officials from the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), and the Department of Local Government Monday launched a five-day Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Training in New Bight, Cat Island.
Conducted by the Training Unit of the National Emergency Management Agency, headed by Mrs. Lisa E. Bowleg, the CERT Training will cover areas such as Disaster Medical Operations, Fire Safety and Utility Controls, Disaster Preparedness, CERT Organization, Disaster Psychology, CERT and Terrorism, and Light Search and Rescue. Instructors include: Chief Petty Officer Romeiko Burrows, Royal Bahamas Defence Force (attached to NEMA); Mr. Frederick Johnson, Medical Operations Instructor; Petty Officer Kenrio Ingraham, Royal Bahamas Defence Force (attached to NEMA); and Leading Woman Marine, Karia Smith, Royal Bahamas Defence Force.
Participants underwent a Pre-Test on the Opening Day and will participate a Post-Test on Thursday. The Training ends Friday with a Final Drill and Closing Ceremonies.
Family Island Administrator for Cat Island, Mrs. Kate Williamson, applauded the collaboration between NEMA and the Department of Local Government. She urged the participants to “garner as much of the information provided as possible.”
“This is the most dynamic training you will ever receive in your lives,” Mrs. Williamson told her audience during Monday’s Soft Opening. “This is indeed a great day for Cat Island (as) anytime the opportunity for additional training opportunities and more knowledge arises, we ought to take advantage of those opportunities. Community Emergency Response Team training is critical for all communities, but particularly Family Island communities such as ours; and so on behalf of Minister of Agriculture, Marine Resources and Family Island Affairs, the Hon. Clay Sweeting, and indeed our representative, Prime Minister, and Minister of Finance, the Hon. Philip E. Davis, we commend the Director, (NEMA Director, Captain Stephen Russell) and his team of Instructors, headed by Mrs. Lisa Bowleg, for providing us with this opportunity. We certainly appreciate them for this opportunity and my word to you today here Cat Islanders, is to make sure that you use this time wisely. Gather every piece of information you can gather. Make this opportunity worthwhile. I count this training as a privilege,” Mrs. Williamson added.
The Cat Island training is part of the Agency’s resolve to build a culture of preparedness/response throughout the islands of The Bahamas, by establishing trained, community volunteer groups that are armed with the skillsets needed to effectively prepare for, and respond to, disasters and/or life-threatening emergencies in order to keep their communities safe until Professional First Responders can arrive.