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JIS News

More than 25 volunteers have been added to the roster of shelter managers in St. Elizabeth.

With the new recruits, the parish now has 200 managers to serve over 94 official shelters.

Parish Coordinator for Disaster Preparedness at the St. Elizabeth Municipal Corporation, Ornella Lewis, told JIS News that the increased numbers will allow for two shelter managers per facility.

“And, of course, we have our churches, which is part of our Parish Disaster Committee to ensure that if the need arises, they will open up their doors for persons,” she said.

“So we are ensuring that we are in full state of readiness and have our volunteers ready, should the need arises for them to be at our shelters,” Ms. Lewis added.

She was speaking at a training exercise for the new volunteers held at the St. Matthew’s Anglican Church in Santa Cruz on Wednesday (June 24).

The training was organised by the St. Elizabeth Municipal Corporation in partnership with the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) and the St. Elizabeth Health Department.

The exercise involved theoretical and hands-on sessions covering general operational activities at shelters, administration, and the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and the precautionary measures that should be adopted in shelters to prevent transmission.

Southern Regional Coordinator for ODPEM, Camille Beckford Palmer, said that the training is critical in ensuring that the new volunteers are “well equipped to manage our shelters”.

A similar training exercise is expected to be held in July for the existing shelter managers.

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