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NEMA hosts CERT Training for residents of Baillou Hill Estates



By: Matt Maura

Bahamas Information Services


#TheBahamas, March 21, 2022 –  The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) kicked off its five-day Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Basic Training Programme for residents of the Baillou Hill Estates community, Monday, at Chapel on the Hill Church Hall.

The training is a partnership between NEMA and the Baillou Hill Estates Homeowners Association and is part of NEMA’s resolve to build capacity within individual and collective communities across The Bahamas. Participants also included personnel from the Office of Disaster Preparedness, Management and Reconstruction, in addition to NEMA’s In-house staff.

Conducted by members of NEMA’s Training Department, led by Training Coordinator Mrs. Lisa Bowleg, CERT Training allows participants to “do the greatest amount of good for the greatest number of persons” in respective communities across the archipelago in the event of an emergency or disastrous event.

Participants are schooled in basic emergency response training and preparation that allows them to function effectively in the event of an emergency or disaster within their communities until professional First Responders arrive on the scene. The CERTs will also be able to provide First Responders with any critical information needed to expedite their intervention.

(Instructors for the training include: Chief Petty Officer Romeiko Burrows (Royal Bahamas Defence Force, attached to NEMA), Petty Officer Kenrio Ingraham (Royal Bahamas Defence Force, attached to NEMA); Leading Woman Karia R. Smith (Royal Bahamas Defence Force, attached to NEMA), Wendell Rigby, Reno Williams, Darrell Wright and Frederick Johnson.)

“The training will cover everything from CERT organization to disaster preparedness, medical operations – for example, how to assist with putting a splint on someone if they have a fracture; how to identify the difference between a fracture and a sprain; how to identify whether someone has a spinal injury and how to move them or how not to move them, what techniques you can use to move injured persons from Point A to Point B,” NEMA’s Training Coordinator, Mrs. Lisa Bowleg said.

“We also have scheduled training exercises in Light Search and Rescue, Fire Fighting and Fire Safety, along with a component that is called Disaster Psychology, so that we not only teach our participants how to physically address what is going on, but also mentally and emotionally address what is going on.”

Monday’s training session kicked off with a Tower Building exercise that was designed to build team spirit and camaraderie amongst the participants.

“The idea behind this activity is to help participants to bond, to work as a team, to learn to trust each other — three key components with any rescue or mission,” Mrs. Bowleg said. “The most successful teams are the ones that bond, that act as one body, and where each member feels that he/she is a part of the team. So this morning we began with the Tower Building Exercise, where we split participants into three teams and each team was responsible of constructing a tower, five-feet tall and with the capability to stand on its own.

“The exercise forces the groups to act as teams and to work in unison in order to be successful. Over the course of the next five days, the participants will remain in those three groups in order to continue the team-building, the bonding, and will learn how to work in unison, how to recognize the leaders in those teams, how to follow instructions, how to bond.”

Mrs. Bowleg said the significance of establishing CERTs throughout communities goes far beyond managing hurricanes.

“We are mandated to prepare our citizens, our communities, for all emergencies and/or disastrous events — not just hurricanes. It can be a house fire, an explosion, some violence that may have occurred within the community. The CERT teams will be trained on how to identify, how to document, how to report and where and when necessary how to respond so that when the professional First Responders arrive, they will be able to update them as to what has occurred. We do not encourage anybody to run into danger,” Mrs. Bowleg added.


Photo Captions:

Header: Mrs. Lisa Bowleg (at right), Training Coordinator, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Chief Petty Officer Romeiko Burrows (Royal Bahamas Defence Force attached to NEMA), and Leading Woman Karia R. Smith, Royal Bahamas Defence Force, prior to Monday’s start of NEMA’s five-day Basic CERT Training Programme underway at Chapel on the Hill Church Hall, Tonique Williams Darling Highway.

1st insert: Instructor, Petty Officer Kenrio Ingraham (Royal Bahamas Defence Force attached to NEMA) with four of the 20 participants on hand for Monday’s opening of the National Emergency Management Agency’s five-day Basic CERT Training Workshop underway at Chapel on the Hill Church Hall, Tonique Williams Darling Highway.

2nd insert: CERT participants during the Tower Building Exercise that promotes unity among other tangible benefits during Monday’s opening.

(BIS Photo/Matt Maura)

Bahamas News

CARICOM Sec Gen speaks on Gender Based Violence



Rashaed Esson


Staff Writer 


“Everyone must continue to invest in preventing violence against our women and girls (VAWG). It is an investment in our shared future,” were the words of Dr. Carla N. Barnett, CARICOM Secretary-General, as she reiterated the need for solutions against VAWG.


She called attention to VAWG as she gave a speech surrounding the annual campaign “16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence,” which runs from November 25 to December 10, 2023.


Barnett expresses the well-known fact that VAWG is one of the most prevalent issues affecting all corners of society.


“VAWG remains one of the most pervasive forms of human rights violations in the world and cuts across all races, cultures, genders, and educational backgrounds,” she maintained, as she continued to point out the sad reality that this is still a major issue despite regional and global policies.


“Despite the existence of regional and global policies and legislation to combat VAWG, weak enforcement and discriminatory practices remain significant barriers to ending VAWG.”


The Secretary-General highlighted statistics for VAWG, bringing attention to how serious and embedded this issue is in society.


She said that globally, 736 million women—nearly one in three—have experienced violence—physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence, non-partner sexual violence, or even both.


For the Caribbean region, she said surveys conducted between 2016 and 2019 inform us that one in two women experience intimate partner violence, which is higher than the global average. 


In continuation, Barnett expressed that the campaign calls everyone to action against VAWG, including “development partners, civil society organizations, women’s organizations, youth, the private sector, and the media.”  Also, world governments are being asked to share how they are investing in gender-based violence prevention.


Ending her address, the Secretary-General urged everyone to wear the color orange for the duration of the campaign, as well as on the 25th of each month, “as a symbol of hope for a brighter future where women and girls live free from violence.”

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Bahamas News

Bahamasair Introduces New Flight Service between Fort Lauderdale, Florida and Georgetown, Exuma



#TheBahamas, November 25, 2023 – Bahamasair celebrated a significant milestone on Wednesday November 15, 2023, with the launch of its new direct service between Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and Georgetown, Exuma. The new route enhances accessibility and convenience for Bahamian residents and travelers seeking direct access to the Exuma Islands.

The inaugural flight carried approximately 50 passengers. The new service, which will operate on Wednesdays and Saturdays, allows Bahamian locals to explore mainland Florida, while at the same time, providing travelers direct access to Exuma without the need for a stopover in Nassau.

During a ceremonial ribbon-cutting event at the Fort Lauderdale International Airport (FLL), Tracy Cooper, Managing Director of Bahamasair, was delighted with the new service. He highlighted that the decision to add the flight to the Airline’s roster was a direct response to the public’s demand. He added that the move signified Bahamasair’s commitment to delivering a quality product.

“Today, we are thrilled to inaugurate our first flight between Georgetown and Fort Lauderdale, marking a significant milestone in expanding our reach and enhancing connectivity,” Mr. Cooper said. “Next year, we are looking to acquire more airplanes, leading to increased rotations and even more accessibility.”

For the route, ATR aircraft will travel between the Georgetown International Airport and Terminal 1 at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, with an estimated flight time of approximately 90 minutes.

Lamar Fisher, Broward County Mayor, emphasized the significant impact of Bahamasair not only on the airport, but also on the county. The mayor pointed out that The Bahamas currently ranks as the 5th largest international market for FLL. He highlighted the strong cultural, historical, and business ties between South Florida and The Bahamas, expressing optimism that the new route to Georgetown would strengthen the connections.

“We welcome the Georgetown route,” said Mayor Fisher “We look forward to the tourism, business and trade benefits to come, connecting Broward County to another island in The Bahamas.”

Highlighting the significance of this milestone, Dr. Kenneth Romer, Deputy Director General and Director of Aviation at The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Aviation, characterized the launch as historic. He conveyed his enthusiasm as The Bahamas reached another major achievement, having welcomed approximately 7.9 million visitors in the first nine months of 2023.

Dr. Romer underscored the government’s strategic vision to boost overall arrival numbers.

“This milestone is particularly noteworthy because, despite the ongoing efforts of our longstanding partner airlines to bring people to The Islands of The Bahamas, I am delighted that our national airline, Bahamasair, has left its mark and etched history,” he said. “We are highly pleased with Bahamasair’s initiatives; they consistently make us proud. Their exploration of new routes has our full government support.”

According to Dr. Romer, the new route not only adds value to the airline’s route network but is also valuable to Exuma’s economy.

“This inaugural has significant economic value and benefit because each person who comes into Exuma on a plane contributes 28 times more than a cruise arrival,” said Dr. Romer. “So, when we look at Bahamasair adding additional seat capacity to Exuma, that translates in a tangible way to heads in beds and money into the economy of Exuma.”

Georgetown, Exuma serves as the gateway to an unparalleled Bahamian experience, with access to pristine beaches, ranked among the world’s best. Exuma is also home to the world-famous swimming pigs. Exuma and its neighboring island to the South – Long Island – will both benefit from the new route. Over the past 26 years, Bahamasair has provided transportation to FLL. During that period, the Airline has conducted over 65,000 flights and transported more than 4 million passengers.

With Georgetown, Exuma added to its schedule, the Airline now offers seven (7) daily flights to Fort Lauderdale to and from other Bahamian Family Islands: Nassau and Freeport, Grand Bahama.

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Bahamas News

Stolen Money likely circulating in The Bahamas 



Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer 

#TheBahamas, November 25, 2023 – Some Bahamians could unknowingly be using stolen money from the bank after one reported being robbed of the cash.

According to a press release from the Central Bank of The Bahamas eary this month, a commercial bank informed them that it was violated by an armored car robbery and bundles of money were stolen.

It said the stolen funds include bundles of Series 2022 $10, Series 2018 $20, Series 2006 and 2019 $50 and Series 2009 and 2021 $100 banknotes.

The Central Bank urged that these banknotes could be in circulation.

In making sure the public knows as much as possible about the stolen money, the Central Bank released information and images on the banknotes. This includes serial number details.

Additionally, the complete list of serial numbers has been provided to authorities and commercial banks where possible, the release said.

The 2018 series 20 dollar notes have a serial number range of N760001 to N765000. All the others have non-sequential numbers.

People are urged to contact the Commercial Crime Unit of the Criminal Investigation Department, Royal Bahamas Police Force, at (242) 322-4191 or (242) 501-9991/2, if they have the banknotes or suspect any suspicious activity related to the notes.

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