ODPEM training officers complete certification course

TRAINING officers of the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) have successfully completed certification in community emergency response team (CERT) training, offered by the Organization of American States (OAS).

“Providing institutional strengthening to our member states in our key areas of work is a crucial part of what we do at the OAS. This was the first of a three-part training and it is part of a bigger regional project. We are hoping to host the train-the-trainer in the next quarter and there will be a CERT training for project managers, which will be in the last quarter of 2021,” said resident OAS Representative in Jamaica Jeanelle van GlaannenWeygel.

She was speaking at the handover ceremony of emergency kits and certificates to the local participants of the CERT training, held at the ODPEM’s New Kingston office, on February 22.

The training was funded by the United States of America’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and was conducted from February 1 to 5. The emergency kits contain hard hats, gloves, vests, masks and other personal equipment for use by emergency personnel in the field.

The modules of the training included disaster psychology, medical operations, light search and rescue and basic disaster management elements.

ODPEM training officer Kristen Rhone, and coordinator for the National Disaster Risk Management Volunteer Programme Diamonette Syncon both agreed on the value of the training and are looking forward to the remaining training sessions.

“The training was quite comprehensive and it really feeds into what I do at the ODPEM, which is volunteer training and volunteer management and that comes from the community emergency response teams that we have across the island. Volunteer training is critical, so this training was very impactful and I am very much looking forward to the other training sessions,” said Syncon.

The three-part training is one aspect of the OAS’ regional project, ‘Building the Resilience of Small Tourism Enterprises in the Caribbean to Disasters’, which is geared towards providing its Caribbean member states with training support for emergency personnel in various aspects of disaster management.


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