THE National Emergency Management Agency has assisted in identifying sites for a proposed a water rescue-training programme on Cat Island, Long Island and Andros, slated for March and April 2014.
Representatives from US Northcom Jeffrey Smith and Captain Joseph Hughart visited the Bahamas to conduct site visits on several of these islands from December 10 to 12.
Wendell Rigby and Senior Lieutenant Sonia Miller of NEMA accompanied the team.
“These training exercises are vital to NEMA’s disaster management strategy,” said an offical statement.
“NEMA has and will continue to ensure that the necessary precautionary measures have been put in place to minimise any loss of life should a disaster occur.”
The United States government has offered to conduct Phase II of its Flood Water Rescue Training Courses and Equipment Programme, at an estimated cost of $500,000.
In 2014, the proposed training is scheduled to take place on Cat Island from March 3 to 7; on Long Island from March 31 to April 4; and on Andros from April 28 to May 2.
About 20 individuals on each island are expected to be trained and equipped to respond effectively to disasters in nearby waters.
In 2012, the training exercise was conducted on the islands of Abaco, Grand Bahama and New Providence, and was deemed a success by NEMA.
Rescue teams on each island were trained to respond to emergencies; they were also outfitted with the proper gear and equipment necessary for executing their duties, NEMA said.
“Much of the equipment donated during the Phase I training have already been used on these islands during rescue operations and most recently, during the severe flooding in eastern New Providence in May 2013,” the statement said.