#Jamaica, October 21, 2017 – Kingston – The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) is recruiting volunteers for its recently established National Disaster Risk Management Programme. Under the programme, community volunteers will be trained in various emergency techniques to act as first responders in the event of a disaster.
The areas of training include cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), first aid, search and rescue as well as shelter management. So far, some 4,000 persons have registered under the programme. Training of the first 150 volunteers will commence on October 23.
Minister of Local Government and Community Development, the Hon. Desmond McKenzie, is to officially launch the programme later this month.
Director General of the ODPEM, Major Clive Davis, tells JIS News that the initiative is an important component of the national disaster preparedness framework. ODPEM’s emergency preparations typically start on January 1 and end on December 31.
“It is about getting more Jamaicans involved in training and equipped to deal with issues within their communities. When an incident occurs, it is not necessarily the national emergency agencies that are going to save lives; it is the ordinary citizens that will save lives,” he pointed out.
Stakeholders in the National Disaster Risk Management Programme are the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), European Union and the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP).
Volunteers must be Jamaican nationals or legal residents 18 years or older and be able to manage challenging situations. For registration and other details of the programme, visit www.odpem.org.jm.