CERT Certification Ceremony Celebrates Strengthening Disaster Response in Sint Maarten
PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten — Prime Minister and Minister of General Affairs Silveria Jacobs, announces the successful completion of the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) certification program, aimed at bolstering Sint Maarten’s institutional capacity for post-disaster response and reconstruction. On Monday, July 24, the graduates were finally able to celebrate the achievements of this crucial initiative that will enhance our community’s safety and resilience.
The CERT certification program focused on key modules relevant for disaster response and preparation such as: 1. Roles and responsibilities of CERT members, Humanitarian principles, Sint Maarten’s Disaster Management system, Shelter management, Fire safety, CPR and much more. Due to the successful completion of the training, we now have over 35 trained and certified CERT members throughout our communities. These persons are crucial in ensuring a swift and coordinated response during emergencies and/or disasters. With the help of the Sofreco experts, an operational plan and a comprehensive training manual was developed to further be able to train and certify others.
The one-and-a-half-week training was funded by the European Union and jointly facilitated by representatives from: the Department of Interior and Kingdom Relations (AZ), Fire Department (AZ), Ambulance (VSA), Community Development, Family and Humanitarian Affairs (VSA), Social Development (VSA), 2 psychosocial experts and representatives from the consortium Sofreco.
“I extend my heartfelt congratulations to all the participants, experts, and stakeholders involved in this significant endeavor. Your dedication and hard work have laid the foundation for a safer and more resilient Sint Maarten. We are deeply grateful to the EU for their support in making this program a reality,” said Prime Minister Jacobs. She went on to say, “As we move forward, we are confident that the knowledge gained and the actions taken during the CERT certification program will positively impact our nation's disaster response capabilities and I encourage other like-minded persons to become a CERT member within their respective community. Together, we will continue working towards a prosperous and resilient future for Sint Maarten.”