THE National Emergency Management Agency conducted a Water Rescue Training and Equipment exercise on Long Island, in an effort to equip residents with survival skills in the event of an emergency at sea.
The training held March 31 to April 4, 2014, as conducted in conjunction with the United States Northern Command (UNNORTHCOM). It was the third in a series of training; Phase 1 was held on the islands of Abaco, Grand Bahama and New Providence between March to May 2012. And, Phase II was held on New Bight, Cat Island from March 3 to 6, 2014.
The purpose of the programme is to equip a team of individuals in each island community to be able to effectively respond to a disaster in nearby waters. Another focus of NEMA is to ensure that individuals in the communities are properly trained to respond if an aircraft crash or boating mishap in waters near the coast.
The island’s exercise attracted about 20 participants from a cross section of the community, namely: Scott Elliot Harding, Duncan Alexander Love, Chester Fox, Omar Daley, Jamal Edgecombe, Randley Rolle, Michael Rolle, Oostrum Douglas, Roger Fox, Sean Wells, Ricardo Miller, Mahalia Harding, Brian Fox, Gary Laing, Fayjen Cooper, Pascal H Ditmar, Vanoalis Constantakis, Jamal Edgecombe, Robert A Baker and Enrico Burrows.
Staff of NEMA, Wendell Rigby Logistics Officer and Eleanor Davis, Administrative Cadet, assisted with facilitating the training programme. Captain Russell, Director of NEMA also used the opportunity to meet with members of the Local Disaster Consultative Committee, on matters relative to disaster preparedness and mitigation.
Participants received training on how to: Establish a Search and Rescue Programme, Common Skills (Rescue Organization and Searches), Ropes, Hardware and Knots, Low Angle Raising and Lowering, Simple Mechanical Advantage, Surface Water Rescue (Shore based rescue assessments, organization and searches).
NORTHCOM donated the necessary equipment to facilitate the training and additional equipment to assist rescue teams with responding to disasters near the coast or swamplands. The class instructions were conducted by four Certified Water and Rope Rescue Technicians from the United States Public Health Services sponsored by USNORTHCOM.