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Call for more to join DEOs

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Call for more to join DEOs

Search form Search Main menu Home News Business Sports Columns Contact Us E-Paper Call for more to join DEOs Mon, 08/30/2021 – 8:10am There is a call for more Barbadians to join up with their District Emergency Organisations(DEOs). This from Department of Emergency Management Consultant and DEO Liaison Selwyn Brooks. He was speaking on the sidelines of a ceremony held recently where the Barbados Light and Power Company Ltd. donated a number of two-way radios towards the efforts of the DEOs.

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Reveling in the fact that all 30 DEOs were up and running and that approximately 1000 volunteers were enrolled, Brooks noted that there were great efforts made to enhance the organisationsand the role played in their communities. “With the modernisationin communication and technology, gone are the days when the role of the DEO would have been to just hand out a shirt or pants or relief supplies. DEOs are now trained how to do various assessments, they are trained how to relate to the vulnerable persons, they are trained to do light search and rescue, first aid, road clearance, and very importantly, damage assessment process which allows the country to determine within a specific time what level of damage has occurred due to an impact. So therefore there is a wide scope for Barbadians to get involved in the District Emergency Organisation.” he said.

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Going on to highlight that the organisationsalso served to do psychological assessments and provide community communications, Brooks also noted that there was much to be gained personally and professionally from becoming a member. “The DEOs are on the move! There‘s a new energy, there’s a new focus and there’s a whole set of enthusiasm and exuberance from persons coming to the fore and we must embrace that. And I am calling out for corporate Barbados, the business community, practitioners, retired persons who have certain skills that they can share, or any person who has a contribution that they can make, no matter how small it is. As a collective we can achieve a lot more and the department will be appreciative of whatever comes out of the partnership with the community.”

Brooks also made a call for other corporate entities to follow in the footsteps of Light and Power, noting that assistance was always needed and welcome. “We want to send a message to corporate Barbados and the business community that they can follow what you are doing here today because the DEO is all voluntary. And in many cases, the government of the day, whoever that might be, may not have the resources at the time that we might need it most in terms of outfitting the members of our District Emergency Organisationadequately.” he said, adding that he believes that initiatives like that can enhance the capacity of the DEOs.

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Stating that interested persons could find further information at the Department of Emergency Management website or by calling 438-7575, he also added that with the hurricane season still upon us, the need for the DEOs was greatest at present. “The department has been offering training on a more regular and sustained basis. So people who are eager after they have been trained, want to put what they have learned into practice and I think that is the excitement we saw after the passage of Elsa and the freak weather system. We’re not out of the woods as yet. We still have another two months to go. Let’s hope that we do not have to respond to any crisis but the DEOs will continue to engage their various communities in doing their community profiles, their community and vulnerability assessments. So you can look forward to seeing the DEOs on a more often and sustained basis.” Brooks said.

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