NODS opens first emergency response command centre

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The centre is housed in a retrofitted 20ft container (Photos courtesy NODS)
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The National Office of Disaster Services (NODS) has opened the first community emergency response command centre in Antigua and Barbuda to better provide the services required for local management of disasters.

The facility, located on Hawkins Drive in Cassada Gardens, was officially opened on Thursday evening.

The structure is a 20ft container that has been retrofitted with bathroom facilities and has a small office space, equipped with cameras for security purposes.

“District Disaster Coordinator for St John’s Rural East, John Dunnah, leads a team of 20 volunteers who, with the support of several individuals and businesses in the district, worked tirelessly to have the command centre completed,” a release said.

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A cross-section of attendees at the opening ceremony

“Dunnah is confident the structure will be able to withstand hurricane-force winds due to the effort put in to strengthen its base. He is hoping emergency command centres can be erected in other districts.”

Parliamentary Representative for St John’s Rural East Maria Browne said she was grateful for the efforts of businesses and individuals who supported the initiative.

Former NODS Director Philmore Mullin was instrumental in providing the container for the centre before he retired.

Mullin believes that such facilities allow for ease of co-ordination, ensuring that the recovery process takes place quickly, while NODS Director Sherrod James said communities need to be more resilient by working together.

The centre was blessed by Pastor Steven Andrew of the St John’s Pentecostal House of Restoration.

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The centre is housed in a retrofitted 20ft container (Photos courtesy NODS)
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