June 28, 20131268Views

Friday, June
Eleven residents of Jost Van Dyke are
now trained to respond to emergencies as they are now certified members of the
Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) which has been established on the Sister

The CERT programme is an all-risk,
all-hazard training designed and administered to help protect individuals,
families, and neighbours in an emergency situation. 

In the training, participants learn to
put out small fires, control bleeding, and treat for shock, provide basic
medical aid, search for and rescue victims safely and collect disaster
intelligence to support first responder efforts.

Deputy Director, DDM Ms. Evangeline
Inniss, in describing the importance of CERT said, “It is a positive and
realistic approach to emergency and disaster situations where residents may
initially be on their own and their actions can make a difference.”

She added, “While people will respond
to others in need without the training, one goal of the CERT programme is to
help them do so effectively and efficiently without placing themselves in
unnecessary danger.”

Ms. Inniss indicated that the community
preparedness programme managed by the DDM is making efforts to reach all Sister
Islands as a means of enhancing their resilience.  She state that the training is necessary for
every island including those with tourism operations as there is a possibility
of the island becoming isolated in the event of an emergency or disaster

She expounded, “Since 2012 the DDM has
trained teams on Anegada and Virgin Gorda and when the training in Jost Van
Dyke is completed, a total of 38 persons will have been trained as CERT members
and certified in Basic First Aid.  We
also want to reach out to residents on islands such as Great Camanoe and
persons operating large resorts in isolated areas such as Peter Island, Oil Nut
Bay, Scrub Island and others.  The course
itself is free of charge but requires support for the logistical arrangements.”

The Department of Disaster Management
in conjunction with the District Officer, Virgin Islands Fire and Rescue
Service and the BVI Red Cross began the CERT workshop in Jost Van Dyke on June 24
and will conclude today June 28.   The
sessions were held in the evenings at the Jost van Dkye Primary School. 

A formal ceremony is expected to take
place during the early weeks of July to award certification to members of the
teams and to present them with CERT bags containing essential supplies that
they will need for response operations.

The CERT training that has taken place
so far was funded by the African, Caribbean Pacific European Union (ACP EU)
Natural Disaster Facility Disaster Risks Management Sub-Regional Programme
managed through the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency
(CDEMA).  Persons wishing to learn more
about the Virgin Islands CERT programme can contact Deputy Director, DDM Evangeline
Inniss at the DDM at 468-4200 or via email [email protected].  Persons can also register as volunteers
through the DDM’s website at