Following a successful disaster preparedness training led by the Youth Emergency Action Committee (YEAC) in collaboration with the Sandals Foundation and the Royal Grenada Police Force, 17 residents of Carriacou and Petite Martinique have joined the ranks of certified Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) agents in Grenada.
Participants from various professions such as law enforcement, health, utilities, retail, marine protection, and landscaping, were introduced to a wealth of disaster risk reduction strategies including, disaster medical operations, emergency communication, psychological first aid, fire safety and response, map reading and navigation, as well as light search and rescue. The 5-day intensive training in Hillsborough also saw participants conducting a number of drills, and road clearance exercises, including learning the proper use of a chainsaw.
This training, according to Sandals Foundation Ambassador and Public Relations Manager at Sandals Grenada Deleon Forrester, was part of a larger effort, which began in April 2022. “Last year, the Sandals Foundation partnered with the YEAC to implement the ‘Building Safer Communities (BSC) Project’ where close to 300 residents in the communities of St John, St Mark, St.Patrick, and St Andrew were trained and empowered in this critical area of disaster preparedness and emergency response. We are happy to continue this incredible partnership to residents from Carriacou and Petite Martinique as we work toward making even more of our Caribbean communities safe and resilient.”
“By working at the community level to train and empower residents to better safeguard themselves in the event of disasters or emergencies, we are helping to limit the negative impact on those who stand to lose the most,” Forrester continued.
Rose-Anne Redhead, Project Manager at YEAC Grenada described the recent training as a success demonstrated through the commitment and interest of the participants. “The participants were particularly interested in Search and Rescue, learning how to stabilize casualties, CPR and Map Reading and Navigation. They thoroughly enjoyed the training, describing their instructors as ‘amazing’. Their readiness to engage their wider community was demonstrated by the ease with which they incorporated a participant with a hearing and speech impairment.”
For Petite Martinique participant Xavier Rock, “I’ve always wanted to do CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation) and I am very happy that I had the opportunity to learn how to perform one and with the hands-on practice. I am now in a position where I can perform CPR and be of assistance to someone who may need it.”
“I’ve learned a lot and I am quite impressed,” said participant Shashera Davis. “I knew nothing about firefighting or map reading and navigation prior to the training, so it helped me broaden my horizons. It has taught me how to truly collaborate with others. I also learned how to calm myself down because even in practice, response situations can be stressful.”
The programme, which forms part of 40 sustainable community projects to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Sandals Resorts was led and delivered by 9 CERT Instructors who are graduates of the previous year’s Training of Trainers sessions.
Using a chainsaw without appropriate personal protective equipment? What sort of training is that?