Director of the Department of Emergency Management Kerry Hinds is asking Barbadians to volunteer their time to participate in the upcoming Exercise TRADEWINDS 2017.

Barbadians urged to take part in Tradewinds 2017

Barbadians are being encouraged to volunteer their time to participate in the upcoming Exercise TRADEWINDS 2017.

Director of the Department of Emergency Management Kerry Hinds said her department, as the coordinating entity of the National Emergency Management is pleased to be associated with TRADEWINDS 2017 from conceptual development to implementation.

However, Hinds stressed that in order for the Exercise, designed to improve cooperation and interoperability of partner nations in responding to the broad spectrum of Caribbean threats, to be fully effective, volunteers are needed to participate in simulation process.

According to Hinds, at least 200 volunteers are needed for just one scenario.

Exercise TRADEWINDS, will officially begin in Barbados on Tuesday June 6, and end on Saturday June 17, in Trinidad and Tobago.

“Of course, a part of that disaster management community is the volunteers and the public. We have our various community disaster management organisations out there and we would wish to encourage persons to be a part of the Exercise.

“At the end of the day, Exercise TRADEWINDS 2017 is useful in terms of sustaining our emergency management and building our community disaster volunteers,” Hinds said.

Hinds made the appeal as she delivered remarks at yesterday’s media launch of Exercise TRADEWINDS 2017 at the Barbados Defence Force, St Ann’s Fort, Garrison, St Michael.

Host Nation Co-Director for Phase one of Exercise TRADEWINDS Major Carlos Lovell, also added his voice to the call for volunteers, noting that based on the nature of this years’ Exercise, there is much scope for participation from the general public, especially in the Disaster Management phase.

Major Lovell explained that volunteering to be part of Exercise TRADEWINDS as a role player can be seen as a very exciting international duty, considering the equipment and resources brought in from the United Sates, which they will be exposed to.
“We are going to try to be as realistic as possible. So this will require some of the same role players to be up close and personal with some of the equipment, some of the personnel and some of the practices of the disaster management personnel from a security limit stand point.

“In terms of the limit of role players, we would not necessary put a cap on the limit. What we are trying to achieve to have as much participation as possible. So from one scenario to the next, we would not want a situation where the same role players are being recycled throughout the exercise.

“We want persons to get the opportunity to participate as much as possible, and when we actually calculated the number of participants, the numbers were in the region of about 2 500 persons, so I do not think that we would exhaust the amount of role players that we get,” he said.

Major Lovell said that role players are asked to complete application forms as those chosen are going to be thoroughly screened.

He noted that role players are also going to be briefed well in advance of the Exercise, and the particular scenario they will be chosen to participate in.

He said the participants will be enlightened as to what is supposed to happen from a role player standpoint, and what should happen when emergency services arrive on the ground.

“So technically they will be given an introduction to some of the training that persons from the fire service, Royal Barbados Police Force and other different emergency response and support agencies would have been exposed to.

“What we are hoping will happen after that, is that these persons will go out into communities and be ambassadors for the National Emergency Management System in Barbados, and also ambassadors for Exercise TRADEWINDS,” Major Lovell said. (AH)

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