U.S. Embassy donates J$25 million in equipment to Jamaica Fire Brigade

The U.S. Embassy Kingston, through the Regional Security Office and the Office of Anti-Terrorism Assistance, held an official handover ceremony of a mobile trailer containing Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) emergency response equipment to the Jamaica Fire Brigade. The handover which was held on the Embassy compound marks the culmination of a four-week Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN), multi-agency training course, October 24, 2016 to November 18, 2016.

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This training course is one of the most robust Chemical and Biological incident response courses offered by the U.S. Department of State and brings with it four subject matter experts who have over 100 years of combined Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) incident response experience. 20 student participants included members from Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA), Military Intelligence Unit (MIU), Counter Terrorism and Organized Crime Branch (C-TOC), National Intelligence Bureau (NIB), and Ministry of National Security (MNS). The three-week CBRN course was also extended to first responders of the Jamaica Constabulary Force, Jamaica Fire Brigade, Ministry of National Security, Kingston Public Hospital and Ministry of Health. A subsequent one-week CBRN refresher course provided a skills review to 15 former students trained in 2014.

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On Thursday, November 17, the four week training iteration culminated in a real-life exercise where U.S. Embassy staff, including Ambassador Luis G. Moreno and Deputy Chief of Mission, Eric Khant, participated in a one-of-a-kind Chemical and Biological response exercise. Nearly 40 first responders, a dozen “victims” and over 250 observers took part in a mock CBRN incident .  The goal of the training is contamination mitigation, and the exercise demonstrated the different stages of the decontamination process in the case of a CBRN incident. Observers from the different partner agencies received a firsthand view of the training which also included opportunities to volunteer as first responders and victims.

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Ambassador Moreno congratulated the participants and training officers, sharing how impressed he was with the execution of the training exercise. “This training is another example of the enduring partnership between our two governments, as it concerns equipping our emergency crew and first responders in the security and safety of the Jamaican people.”

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CBRN incident response training includes all measures taken to minimize or negate the vulnerabilities and/or effects of a chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear incident. Today’s equipment donation is valued at J$25 million and includes a mobile trailer, CBRN protective suits, stretchers, CBRN sampling equipment, radiation detectors, first aid kits, respirator masks and a decontamination tent.

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