Members of the Territory’s Search and Rescue Team (TSART) recently supported a successful land based search operation launched by the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF).
Acting Commissioner of Police, Alwyn James has commended the team for its efforts and recognised the progress being made to build search capacity among the team members.
Acting Commissioner James said, “The team was called out last week to undertake search operations that uncovered skeletal remains behind a Main Street establishment. I am pleased that we now have access to a highly skilled team of men who can be immediately deployed to support these types of operations”.
Director of the DDM, Sharleen Da Breo praised the work of the team adding, “The outstanding work performed by TSART speaks volumes to the level of training they received in 2014 and 2015 which exposed members to international standards for search consideration and techniques, incident command system, rope rescue, communications, maps compasses and land navigation”.
Ms. Da Breo said that future training is being planned to build on TSARTs skills and techniques and to eventually have the team ready for international certification.
Ms. Da Breo said, “The team is highly motivated and willing to learn new skills and we are making every effort to develop a team that is able to respond to a variety of search and rescue type scenarios locally and to eventually support search and rescue operations that may occur in the region, if they are called on to do so.”
National Search and Rescue Teams are an important part of emergency preparedness and response and requires dedicated teams with specific skills to be able to respond to a wide range of emergency situations that may occur on land and at sea.
TSART was formed in 2014 and is comprised of members from the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF) and the Virgin Islands Fire and Rescue Service who are expected to work in conjunction with voluntary organisations and individuals in executing their duties.
Since its formation, the team has been involved in a number of search and rescue activities on the Territory including the ongoing search for 22 year old Nickera Smith, who was last seen on January 27, 2016. Branding arrangements for the team have also been made and the team is now equipped with a new logo fixed to t-shirts that were sponsored by Delta Petroleum. The t-shirts will be used during activities undertaken by the team.
Members of the TSART include Steve George, Esau Andrews, Darrin Malone, Rolland Jackson, Terry Humphrey, Jermaine Agard, Algon Smikle, Collis Fraser, Dariel Robinson and Ron Augustine from the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force, along with Elroy Chalwell, David Ronan, Elnathan White, Benson Thomas, Gaston Walters, Marcus Malone, Mervin Chinnery, Patrick Victor, Alexander Parillon and Samuel Lettsome from the Virgin Islands Fire and Rescue Service.