Tradewinds volunteers get a peek into upcoming exercise

Volunteers for the upcoming Exercise Tradewinds today got a glimpse of what to expect during the June 6-12 event.

The Tradewind Secretariat hosted the Volunteer to make a difference expo at Queen’s Park, the City, this morning.

Officers from the Barbados Defence Force and the Barbados Fire Service were on hand to demonstrate various rescue techniques and disaster responses. They also involved the volunteers in demonstrations of

They also involved the volunteers in demonstrations of moulaging – the application of mock injuries for training, which is used by emergency response teams and medical personnel and the military.

Volunteer Yasmin Padmore told Barbados TODAY she welcomed today’s event and was excited to be part of the upcoming Exercise Tradewinds.

“It gives me an opportunity to understand what goes into protecting Barbados as it relates to an external entity coming in, when we have natural disasters, when we have terrorist attacks, those types of things,” Padmore said.

Station Officer at the Barbados Fire Service Henderson Patrick said today’s event also served to address any concerns participants may have about volunteering their services.

“We have persons from the Barbados Defence Force who are conducting moulaging sessions, showing persons how the wounds will look, and also giving them an opportunity to see that it will not hurt.  Because one thing we have always stressed is we want to maintain the safety of those persons who volunteer.  We don’t want them to feel as though they’re putting their lives in jeopardy at any point in time.  So even though the wounds may look realistic, at least they will get an opportunity to see that it really does not hurt and that the persons who do this job, they do a fantastic job in making these injuries look real.

“It also serves as a training tool for the first responders because when you turn up to an event . . . and you see someone with an eviscerated stomach, it will allow those persons to go through their normal protocol in treating an injury of that nature,” Patrick said.

Mock wounds being applied to one volunteer

Representatives from the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) and Department of Emergency Management were also present to explain the role of emergency response agencies during a disaster.

Communications and Education Specialist at CDEMA, Clive Murray, explained that Exercise Tradewinds will be an opportunity to test its regional protocols and procedures to assess the strengths and weaknesses.

“Our role in Exercise Tradewinds is to facilitate the activation of our regional response mechanism where we will test our regional coordination plan and procedures with regards to responding to any disaster event that may affect our participating states. So what we will do, we will activate our regional coordination centre which is based here in Barbados, and possibly our sub-regional coordination centre, which is based in Trinidad and Tobago, which is one of our four sub-regional focal points,” Murray said.

CDEMA’s Clive Murray (second right) speaking with some members of the public

The hosting of Exercise Tradewinds coincides with the start of the hurricane season and CDEMA’s Education and Training Specialist, Gayle Drakes, told Barbados TODAY they are also making sure that all their systems are in sound working order ahead of the June to November season.

“Usually just before the start of the hurricane season, we will make sure that we test our own procedures with CDEMA Coordinating Unit, usually through a series of training exercises.  We also do communications exercises to test . . . radio, satellite, satellite data communications as well, and that usually involves both the coordinating unit and the participating states to make sure that all of our communication avenues are functioning well,” Drakes said.

Organisers of Exercise Tradewinds also held an orientation session for volunteers at BDF headquarters, St Ann’s Fort, this morning.

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