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SEARCH AND RESCUE TRAINING COURSE ENDS IN ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA
Tuesday 10th September 2013

The complement of individuals trained in search and rescue throughout the region continues to expand with the completion of a one-week course last week in Antigua and Barbuda.

Twenty-nine participants were taken through various aspects of light-level urban search and rescue to include the response mechanism, searching methodologies, rescue techniques, how to manage an incident and personal safety.

The Course Coordinator and Chief Instructor was Abdias Samuel from the St Kitts/Nevis Fire and Rescue Services. “The course has had its challenges because you’re taking persons from different disciplines - police, soldiers, fire fighters, persons from disaster officers, community persons, civilians, so the task at the end is to create a team, not only a national team but a regional team”, Samuel said.

According to Disaster Risk Management Specialist Clive Lorde from USAID’s Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA), the programme started in 2007 and has been completed in most of the CDEMA member states.

He says USAID OFDA is now beginning to move to the phase of building the search and rescue programmes in these countries.  “The training we’ve done so far is considered light level where primarily the teams get in quickly and extricate, primarily, surface or very minimally trapped victims. The minimum level team is a lot more sophisticated with the ability to penetrate deep into collapse structures. However they have within their cadre of specialists structural engineers as well as medical doctors”.

Lorde, who is also responsible for Quality Control through the evaluation of instructors as well as the review and further evaluation of materials and the teaching approach, says another objective of the training is to build a cadre of instructors for CDEMA member states.

Thirty-six individuals from throughout the region will be taken through the instruction certification course to add to the 20 now in place.


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