Ministry stages Natural Disaster Simulation exercise for CERT volunteers

CERT volunteers assist and rescue a wounded civilian during the search and rescue segment of the natural disaster simulation held at the Chaguanas Borough Corporation on Sunday 28 April, 2019.

The Ministry of Rural Development and Local Government staged a natural disaster simulation on the compound of the Chaguanas Borough Corporation on Sunday April 28, 2019.

The exercise was arranged and managed by Senior Disaster Management Coordinator, Jerry David and a team of highly dedicated disaster management officials from various municipalities across Trinidad on the culmination of the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training programme.

The CERT training is an initiative of the Ministry’s Disaster Management Unit and targeted five  (5) municipalities in its first phase. These included the Chaguanas Borough Corporation, Tunapuna/Piarco Regional Corporation, San Fernando City Corporation and the Mayaro/Rio Claro Regional Corporation and the Sangre Grande Regional Corporation. The Ministry also collaborated with the Trinidad and Tobago Red Cross Society to conduct training sessions in Sangre Grande, Mayaro/Rio Claro and Tunapuna/Piarco.

The CERT programme educated volunteers about disaster preparedness for any hazard that may impact their area and trained them in basic disaster response skills, such as Disaster Preparedness, Fire Suppression, Medical Operations, Medical Operations Part II, Light Search and Rescue Operations, Traumatology and Team Organization.

Sunday’s full scale disaster simulation dramatized scenes consistent with the aftermath of a hurricane. Newly trained CERT volunteers showcased their skills as they grappled with the practical aspects of disaster management. The exercise used a narrative closely resembling a scene immediately following the aftermath of a category 3 hurricane.

The second wave of the CERT programme commenced in San Juan on Sunday April 28, 2019 and will be further extended to include the municipalities of Arima, Penal/Debe and San Fernando. The Ministry will also be hosting a Symposium in the month of June to engage FBOs, CBOs and NGOs in Natural Disaster Management.

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