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Ready to run to the rescue

rhondathompson, [email protected]

Ready to run to the rescue

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A helicopter crash just off the cliffs of Cove Bay, St  Lucy, sent the Regional Security Services (RSS) into action yesterday evening, combing the site for survivors.Looters who had arrived on the scene earlier could be seen scampering for cover, as camouflaged officers descended the cliffs seeking out the injured.It took almost two hours for the search team to find victims and bring them to the cliff tops, where waiting colleagues assessed injuries and quickly sent fresh teams down to rescue other victims.The event was not without its glitches, but officers were made better aware of the many things that could go wrong when preparing for a search and rescue.The crash scene under the command of Warrant Officer 1 Cherrol Deane; Robert Harewood, programme officer of the Department of Emergency Management; Station Officer Gordon Boxhill from the Barbados Fire Service and colleague Callous Bishop; Colour Sergeant Peter Burgess; and Yusaf Dokrat, a member of the roving response team, saw techniques which the officers had learnt over the past three days being put into quick action.The Basic Course One, started on June 28, saw officers of RSS member states Antigua & Barbuda, St Kitts & Nevis, Dominica, Grenada, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines and Barbados going through basic military training.Deane said one aspect of the training was disaster preparedness, in which officers on completion of their classroom studies were taken into the field to be assessed.Over the last three days they would have learnt incident commands, how to tie knots, disaster cycles, the national response mechanism, the regional response mechanisms, basic search and rescue, and how to use wire baskets when rescuing.“The whole idea of the training is to produce members who can respond to any situation. You never can tell when they have to respond to a situation in a particular country where there is a disaster. And the training is to equip them to be ready to be in any response team,” Deane stated.The Department of Emergency Management was also engaged to help facilitate the training, along with the Barbados Fire Service, the Ministry of Health and the Barbados Defence Force.