Savannah residents learn how to assist in emergencies

Members of Cayman's newest emergency response team receive their incorporation documents and backpacks on Wednesday, 14 Aug., from Eddie Tingling-Miller, disaster manager at the Cayman Islands Red Cross, far left, and Teresita DaSilva, acting deputy director of Hazard Management, far right.

The newest members of the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) graduated last week from the programme at the Bodden Town Civic Centre.

Ten volunteers from Savannah Meadows completed 26 hours of training across a five-week period, covering topics on search and rescue, vulnerability and capacity assessment, damage assessment and fire safety leading up to the graduation.

The team includes volunteers from the Cayman Islands Fire Service, Government Facilities Management, the National Weather Service and other various organisations.

The newly established group will be responsible for compiling lists of resource personnel and equipment within their community, identifying potential hazards and who may be the most vulnerable in their community, as well as promoting awareness of disaster preparedness, according to a press release.

In times of natural disaster, emergency services may become over-stretched and communities can be inaccessible. CERTs increases national disaster response capacity and provide on-the-ground information for critical decision making during the aftermath.

Teresita DaSilva, acting deputy director at Hazard Management, said CERT members take on many active roles within their community. “Their skill sets prepare them to alleviate suffering before, during and after an event,” DaSilva said.

“We are grateful to those who have volunteered for their commitment to making their community a stronger and more resilient place,” she added.

The formation of CERT in the Savannah Meadows area was spearheaded by Heather Bodden.

The training, which is provided by Hazard Management and the Red Cross is free and open to all residents aged 16 and over.

CERT teams have also been established in North Side, North Sound Garden Community, West Bay, Windsor Park, Cayman Brac and Prospect.

For more information on CERT training, or to establish a team in your area, contact Teresita DaSilva at 945‑4624.