Thirty-eight volunteers from the Cayman Islands Red Cross have successfully completed a National Intervention Team training program.
The intensive six-night training, developed by the International Federation of Red Cross, trained local volunteers to coordinate, facilitate, respond to and recover from disasters.
During the program, volunteers developed presentations based on what they learned and applied the theories in a number of case studies, practical exercises and other non-cognitive activities. The training involved local agencies delivering key aspects of the training.
“National Intervention Teams play an important role, not only in the Cayman Islands but around the region, as they are active long before a national emergency occurs and play a significant part in identifying hazards and mitigating against them so that the impact of a disaster is minimized,” said Danielle Coleman, Red Cross disaster manager. “This is not a commitment that is made lightly.” “In looking at our organizational structure, the NIT team offers key support not only to the disaster manager, but to the organizational response structure on a whole,” she added.
Long standing volunteers were also charged with setting up informational stations to highlight Red Cross resources. These stations included the emergency operating center, the shelter, first aid training and equipment, VHF radios, vehicles and containers.
“National intervention training is considered advanced because they have to not only be able to see and understand the “bigger” picture, but they also need to know what it is that the Red Cross is working with to help them undertaking their tasks, from mitigation to response,” Ms. Coleman said.
“The training is the highest level of training one can receive at the national level,” said Jondo Obi, Cayman Islands Red Cross branch director. “It is from this pool that Regional Intervention Team members are chosen by the International Federation of the Red Cross for training, and once they have successfully obtained their certification, these are the volunteers who will respond to the earthquakes, floods, hurricanes and other serious disasters that affect other countries within the region.” Ms. Coleman described the local volunteer base in the Cayman Islands as “solid” and that, despite the transient nature of the society, volunteers remain committed to the work of the organization and the community they serve.
“We are very proud of the group that has successfully attained this certification and we want to recognize them for both the achievement and the commitment they have made to making Cayman more resilient,” Ms. Coleman said.