CERT 1000 Strong

Being disaster resilient requires the support of an entire community.

That support is the inspiration behind the Tobago Emergency Management Agency’s (TEMA) Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) 1000 Strong volunteer programme.

More than 566 Tobago residents have already signed on to be part of the programme, which is designed to educate persons on disaster preparedness. The programme teaches basic first aid skills and prepares volunteers to assist in emergency situations within Tobago’s communities.

Participants are learning about disaster preparedness and the potential hazards that could impact their areas. Basic disaster response skills such as fire safety, team organisation, light search and rescue drills and disaster medical operations will form part of the training.

CERT volunteers must be between the ages 18 to 55 years old. Volunteers also assist with non-emergency social activities and functions.

TEMA Director Mr. Allan Stewart has described CERT 1000 Strong as an ongoing endeavour.

The training is continuous; we have to conduct it in different segments as the syllabus focuses on learning different skillsets. It includes introductory elements, theory, and practical field work,” Mr. Stewart said.

CERT implements a consistent, island-wide approach to volunteer training and organisation. This training allows professional responders to focus on more complex duties.

TEMA pioneered the CERT PRO programme in December 2005, which is a professional programme, where it’s been made a career opportunity similar to the Fire Services. However, the voluntary aspect of the CERT programme has been implemented in other Caribbean countries.”

CERT needs more volunteers to support Tobago’s disaster readiness. To join in, visit: https://bit.ly/TEMACERT. For more information, contact TEMA at 660-7489.