SPRING POINT, Acklins — In keeping with its goals to establish disaster resilient communities, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), conducted a Surface Water Rescue Course on this island – one of the areas hardest hit by Hurricane Joaquin last October.
It is the 12 course conducted by NEMA and its partners the United States Embassy in Nassau, the United States Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) and the United States Department of Public Health Service.
The exercise was previously conducted on the islands of Andros, Exuma, Cat Island, Eleuthera, Abaco, New Providence, Grand Bahama, Bimini, Mayaguana, Long Island and Cat Island.
The purpose of the course, levels I and II, is to provide techniques and skills to members of the community in conducting Surface Water Rescues and Rescue Tasks.
The mentioned course was conducted June 20 – 23, 2016 at the Spring Point community centre and surrounding sea; and it was attended by 24 participants from various settlements inclusive of three Royal Bahamas Defence Force Marines, the largest of the teams trained.
The course objectives are to:
Enhance correct execution of tasks,
Enhance communication between rescuers, and to
Provide a guide for ongoing training
The opening and closing ceremonies included remarks from District Administrator Harvey Roberts; Captain John Holland, U.S. Department of Public Health Services; Jeffrey Smith, USNORTHCOM/U.S. Embassy, Nassau; Captain Stephen Russell, Director, NEMA; Police Inspector A. Miller, District Police Chief; and Captain Doug Ebert – U.S. Department of Public Health Services.
Some of the areas of training focused on developing site survey for existing water hazards, define search parameters for water rescue incident, extricate an incapacitated victim from the water, escape form life-threatening situations, amongst other things.
The participants were charged with specific responsibilities from the Director of NEMA to protect themselves at all times, continue training, keep equipment gear in working condition, and know the protocol and operational procedures for the activation of the surface water rescue team.
The participants were: Carigan Forbes, Royal Bahamas Police Force; Patrick King, Royal Bahamas Police Force; Warren Rolle, Royal Bahamas Defence Force; Gary Rolle, Royal Bahamas Defence Force; Edsil Armbrister, Royal Bahamas Defence Force; Diana Forbes, Social Services; Monty Hanna, Bahamasair; Ivan Strachan, contractor; Dwayne Hall, mason; Cyril Ferguson, fisherman; Conrad Hanna, Chef; Kevin Wallace, mason; Pandora Williams, Department of Public Health; Raul Collie, Local Government Department; Rufus Forbes, pastor; Kenwood Collie, Water & Sewerage Corporation; Jonathan Martin, Cemar Ferguson; Renaldo Taylor, Bonefish Guide; Terrance Collie, handyman; Derek Collie, Department of Fisheries; Leah Bullard, general worker and Gregory McPhee, carpenter.
Course facilitators were: Captain John Holland, U.S. Department of Public Health Services; Jeffrey Smith, USNORTHCOM/U.S. Embassy, Nassau, Captain Doug Ebert – U.S. Department of Public Health Services and Luke Bethel, training officer at NEMA.