Governor Augustus Jaspert has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that will see the British Virgin Islands (BVI) benefitting from specialized training and equipment worth $261,106 from the United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
The training and equipment will be provided to the 24-member Territorial Search & Rescue Team (TSART) which includes officers from the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force, Her Majesty’s Customs, the BVI Fire & Rescue Services, and the BVI Airport Fire Service.
During the signing ceremony on Wednesday, January 29, Governor Jaspert said the United Kingdom and the BVI government are both committed to enhancing the territory’s emergency preparedness measures.
“This support is just not money coming in that is a one-off. It provides kits, yes, but it also provides training and capacity building. This increases our capabilities to respond locally to those emergencies that require specialised skills,” Governor Jaspert stated.
“One of my main responsibilities is ensuring the security of all the citizens in our territory and search and rescue, whether it is on land or at sea, remains a vital component of that,” he added.
Apart from the training and specialised equipment which will increase the BVI’s ability to respond to land or sea emergencies, the MOU will further facilitate TSART members with having access to trauma kits, personal safety equipment and other items needed during search and rescue operations.
This agreement is expected to put the BVI in good standing to be recertified by the Emergency Management Accreditation Programme later in 2020.
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