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Territory's first satellite emergency centre installed @ East End/Long Look Fire Station

- Rotary Club of Tortola officially hands over $70K refurbished fire station
Some of the satellite emergency equipment installed at the East End/Long Look Fire Station. Photo: VINO
The East End/Long Look Fire Station has been reopened for some months now; however, the Rotary Club of Tortola did the final touches on the facility last weekend, which paved the way for the Department of Disaster Management (DDM) to install emergency satellite equipment. Photo: VINO
The East End/Long Look Fire Station has been reopened for some months now; however, the Rotary Club of Tortola did the final touches on the facility last weekend, which paved the way for the Department of Disaster Management (DDM) to install emergency satellite equipment. Photo: VINO
With the equipment installed, the East End/Long Look Fire Station became the Department of Disaster Management's Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) in the Territory. Photo: VINO
With the equipment installed, the East End/Long Look Fire Station became the Department of Disaster Management's Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) in the Territory. Photo: VINO
EAST END, Tortola, VI- The East End/Long Look Fire Station has been reopened for some months now; however, the Rotary Club of Tortola did the final touches on the facility last weekend, which paved the way for the Department of Disaster Management (DDM) to install emergency satellite equipment.

With the equipment installed, the fire station became their first Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) in the Territory. This resulted in a two-in-one pomp and ceremony yesterday July 27, 2020, at the East End/Long Look Fire Station.

SMART Community

Project Manager for the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) SMART Communities Project, Ms Sheniah Armstrong said the Department of Disaster Management (DDM) in collaboration with the Caribbean Development Bank’s (CDB) Caribbean Disaster Risk Reduction Fund (CDRRF) developed and funded the Establishing Flood Resilient SMART Communities through Non-Government Organisation (NGO) partnerships project.

"The SMART Communities Project, for short, was one that did just that. It sought to equip select communities, including the East End and Long Look communities, with structural and nonstructural elements to make it a SMART community."
 
The DDM and CDB funded the purchase of the emergency communications equipment, which includes VHF Radios, Satellite Phones and external antennas.
 
Additional emergency siren units were also installed in the communities.

Present were His Excellency Governor Augustus J. U. Jaspert, Government Ministers, Honourables Kye M. Rymer (R5) and  Dr Natalio D. Wheatley (R7) and Leader of the Opposition, Honourable Marlon A. Penn (R8).

On the side of the Rotary Club of  Tortola were Immediate Past District Governor, Mrs Delma Maduro, Club President Deon Stoutt, Immediate Past President Michael J. Killourhy and Assistant District 7020 Governor Ryan R. E. Geluk among other Rotarians. 

Several Representative of Department of Disaster Management including Permanent Secretary within the Office of the Deputy Governor, Mrs Sharlene S. DaBreo-Lettsome.

Better prepared

Alluding to the importance of the EOC being in place especially as the Region faces an active hurricane season, Governor Jaspert said, “We have here the ability now, with the communications systems now in place with the supplies and the contingency stocks here to be utilised by the community, and I pray that we don’t face any other disasters, but should we face those disasters we have a local base that can straight away be of support for the community linked with the national effort but also ensure that we’ve got, if the worse happens, we’ve got the supplies, we’ve got the communication, we’ve got the networks here to move forward."

Supporting the position taken as it relates to the importance of the centre, Hon Rymer said, "As you know we are getting ready and being prepared for the hurricane season and we are hoping that most of the storms will just go by us, but we will be prepared."

Training

Dr the Honourable Wheatley expressed like sentiments but also indicated that there are a number of persons in his district who are ready and willing to take on training to operate the Emergency Operations Centre.

He, like the others, were high in praise for the work done to the centre by the Rotary Club of Tortola, investing some $70, 000 in grant for District 7020, the local club itself and community donors. The roof, he said, absorbed a big chunk of the cash as more than $20,000 was spent on it.

Honourable Penn also acknowledged the work of the Rotary Club of Tortola, of which he is a member, and the importance of the EOC but also challenged Hon Rymer to ensure that a brand new fire truck purchased for the East End/Long Look Fire Station remains there and not be taken away to other stations in the Territory as he said is often the case.

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