The annual training for the CARICOM Disaster Relief Unit (CDRU) Workshop for 2013 concludes in Grenada today (Friday).
A total of 37 participants from the disciplined forces (police, military & fire) representing 14 countries throughout the Caribbean are participating in the five-day workshop at Flamboyant Hotel.
This regional training workshop is designed to prepare the incoming CDRU for their role as the primary response unit for the Caribbean during the period June 2013 to June 2014.
The workshop also gives participants an opportunity for the CDRU team to meet as a body and to understand their roles, responsibilities and functions during relief operations.
Practical demonstrations will expose them to the response kit and emergency communications equipment that the CDRU uses when deployed.
This is being conducted in collaboration with the Regional Security System Central Liaison Office (RSSCLO) with funding from the United States Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM).
At a brief ceremony to mark the opening of the workshop on Monday, Coordinator at the National Disaster Management Agency (NaDMA), Terrence Walters, recognised the importance of the exercise and encouraged participants to take the opportunity seriously as they can be called upon to serve millions of people at a moment’s notice.
Director of Operations, RSS, Commander Tyrone James reminded participants that the region is vulnerable to almost every disaster, pointing out the frequency in which earthquakes occurs in the region in recent years.
He said that Hurricanes are no longer the Caribbean’s only concern and therefore they need to be prepared at all times.
“Use the opportunity to get acquainted”, James advised participants so that in the case of an emergency less time will be used getting to know each other.
He also encouraged them to take advantage of the lessons taught to prepare themselves.
Similar sentiments were expressed by Charge d’Affaires, US Embassy, Grenada, Louis J. Crishock as he encouraged participants to network and build skills for themselves.
He extended special commendation for participants from the United States of America.
Dr Elvis Nurse, Director RMAD, CDEMA said that the workshop is timely and relevant as it teaches them to be proactive in times of disasters.
He announced that a training facility will be constructed in Barbados and thanked the US for their continued financial support to the region for the past two decades.
Annually the United States, through its Armed Forces’ Southern Command (SOUTHCOM), funds the training of disciplined forces in order to facilitate immediate disaster response assistance.
The Unit is available to any CDEMA Participating State to support CARICOM’s humanitarian assistance in response and relief operations following a disaster impact.
Areas of focus during the five days includes Media Relations – Public Relations, CDEMA Roles, responsibilities and Functions, The Regional Coordination Plan (RCP) and the Regional Response Mechanism (RRM), Introduction to Damage Assessment & Needs Analysis (DANA), Consequence Management Introduction to Urban Search & Rescue (Light Level) Training in CDEMA Participating States, Logistics and Warehouse Management in CDEMA Participating States.