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ODPM and Diego Martin Regional Corporation partner to build community resilience

ODPM partners with Diego Martin Regional Corporation to build community resilience

The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management (ODPM) firmly believes that national resilience can only be achieved if resilience is built at the community level. Subsequently, community resilience can only be achieved if communities can appropriately prepare, positively respond to and recover from a crisis, an emergency of hazard impact. It is in this vein that the ODPM was pleased to partner with the Disaster Management Unit of the Diego Martin Regional Corporation to launch its Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) project. This project, initialised by the Chairman of the Diego Martin Regional Corporation, Alderman Anthony Sammy, was launched on Saturday October 01.  In attendance at this launch were Colonel (Ret’d) Dave Williams, Chief Disaster Management Coordinator, Ministry of Local Government; Ms Brenda Lewis, Chief Executive Officer of the corporation and Dr Stephen Ramroop, Chief Executive Officer, ODPM.

In his remarks, Dr Ramroopindicated that the ODPM was proud and excited to partner with this corporation as it works toward ensuring the preparedness and safety of its burgesses.  He underscored the fact that “this CERT project, launched by the Diego Martin Regional Corporation is relevant and proactive as it treats with preparedness, mitigation, response and recovery; four of the five elements of the comprehensive disaster management approach.” Further, “activities such as CERT and the ODPM’s Communities Organised and Ready for Emergencies (CORE) initiative are key aspects of the ODPM’s mission to implement pro-active measures to mitigate the impact of all hazards that threaten the people of Trinidad and Tobago.”

This CERT project will span six weeks and will take place at the La Seiva community facility in Maraval and the Central Diego Martin Community Centre in Diamond Vale. This positive and realistic approach to disaster management, intends to educate sixty (60) volunteers on preparedness for hazards that may impact their area. In addition to the education component, CERT also involves training in basic disaster response skills such light search and rescue, medical disaster operations (C.P.R and First Aid), fire suppression and the training of male participants in chain saw use and safety.

It is expected that after this specialised training, the volunteers will be able to apply the skills learnt in the classroom to assist others in their communities during a crisis, an emergency or hazard event, when professional responders are not immediately available. CERT members also are encouraged to support emergency response agencies, such as the Diego Martin Regional Corporation’s Disaster Management Unit, the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service, Trinidad and Tobago Fire Service and the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force, by adopting a more active role in emergency preparedness projects in their community.

The ODPM, in its supervisory role, hopes that this CERT programme will be sustainable and encourages other Disaster Management Units and interested NGOs will use this programme as a guide to build community resilience.

The ODPM continues to work with all stakeholders to build a culture of safety and resilience in our twin island Republic.


Issued by:

Public Information, Education and Community Outreach Unit


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