Basseterre, St. Kitts, July 28, 2021 (SKNIS): Major Kayode Sutton, Chair of the Search, Rescue and Initial Clearance Sub-committee in The St. Kitts and Nevis National Disaster Plan prepared by The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), said that search and rescue teams in St. Kitts and Nevis are exposed to several training opportunities to learn new techniques and advance their capabilities.
“We coordinate local training, we coordinate training within the Defence Force because we have individuals within the Defence Force who have been adequately trained in such capacity,” said Major Sutton during his July 28 appearance on Working for You. “We also have Exercise Tradewinds which is also a training opportunity. So, we try to get as many people trained as possible, not just within the Defence Force but the Police Force, the entire public.”
Major Sutton said that St. Kitts and Nevis is also able to source training through regional agencies such as the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), as well as other agencies within the region.
“They coordinate regional training and in these days where there is the COVID-19 Pandemic a lot of training has been done virtually. But normally, they have scheduled regional training across the region in the different countries,” he said. “The Regional Security System (RSS) is one that is able to source training from either the European Union or the United States”
Equally important, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) coordinates a lot of training.
“The Agency normally holds tabletop exercises. We recently did Carib Wave, a tsunami-based exercise that we participate in annually and because of COVID-19 we couldn’t do it physically as we normally would and so, we had it virtually and Search, Rescue and Initial Clearance Committee was able to participate in that,” said Oureika Lennon –Petty, Planning Officer at NEMA. “So, we don’t just do hurricane exercises.”