Project – Regional Network for First Responders in the Caribbean

March 2022 to Ongoing – Exploring the Feasibility and Value of a Regional Network for First Responders (RN4FR) to Reduce Avoidable Disaster Deaths in the Caribbean Region

The aims of this project are:

  1. Identify capacity gaps and coordination opportunities for organisations providing first responders in the Caribbean region, through an online questionnaire and virtual stakeholder consultations for exchange of knowledge, experiences and insights.
  2. Develop a roadmap for the steps needed to address the conclusions of the e-Discussion, including the creation of the RN4FR, through a stakeholder workshop.

A particularly pressing area of opportunity for reducing avoidable deaths is to improve the effectiveness of first responders (aka category 1 responders) – emergency services, national and partner country defence agencies, humanitarian non-governmental organisations, private sector organisations and local community leaders and volunteers. Whenever a disaster strikes, first responders are the key actors providing critical assistance to the impacted populations. However, these actors often work within their own domains, neither coordinating or cooperating with their relief work, nor communicating or sharing what they learn from their experiences.

To explore this issue for first responders in the Caribbean region, ADN convened on 10 December 2021 a one-day virtual Symposium on ‘Integrating Disaster Risk Management with Emergency Services and Defence to Reduce Avoidable Disaster Deaths’. The Symposium’s participants agreed on the need to increase collaboration, coordination and communication (3Cs) in national disaster response planning and mitigation efforts among all first responders in the Caribbean region to reduce avoidable disaster deaths and limit the impact on affected populations. 

The KE, Impact and Proof of Concept Fund would make it possible to initiate the operationalisation of this conclusion by supporting creation of a Regional Network for First Responders (RN4FR) as a forum for interaction that promotes the 3Cs, and ultimately lead to a unified team-based approach to disaster response across the Caribbean that shortens response times and ensures a well-coordinated relief effort.

The questionnaire and consultations will facilitate the adoption of RN4FR as a full-fledged knowledge-sharing network, and the roadmap will include the identification of the steps and financial resources for its introduction, leading to the realisation of the goal of a unified team-based approach to disaster responses and reduction of avoidable deaths in the Caribbean region.


12 May: The University of Leicester awarded  the project Ethics Approval, allowing us to move into the data collection phase. 

26 March: Dr. Nibedita Ray-Bennett held the second Collaborators Meeting to discuss the e-Discussion. Attendees included Dr. Hideyuki Shiroshita, Mr. Krishna Clarke, Professor Alois Hirschmugl, Mr. Steve Glovinsky, Ms. Nupur Gupta and Miss Lauren Macleod.

25 March: Dr. Nibedita Ray-Bennett held the first Collaborators Meeting to orientate the project collaborators with the project and initiate the first steps. The picture shows some of the attendees including Mr. Steve Glovinsky, Miss Lauren Macleod, Ms. Nupur Gupta, Professor Alois Hirschmugl, Dr. Hideyuki Shiroshita, Mr. Abdullahi O. Umar and Ms. Anusha Manahil.

24 March: Dr. Nibedita Ray-Bennett met with the project Champion, Mr. Errol Maynard of the Barbados Fire Service and the Caribbean Association of Fire Chiefs to discuss preliminary actions.