Regiment in action as Gonzalo nears
Bermuda Regiment soldiers were tonight deployed to key points around the Island in advance of Hurricane Gonzalo.
Soldiers have already been stationed at two seniors’ rest homes in the West End to help protect vulnerable elderly people.
Others have been deployed to Clearwater fire station in St David’s, with an Immediate Response Team (IRT) and a Boat Troop crew to support firefighters and medics stationed there.
Regiment Commanding Officer Lt Col Michael Foster-Brown said: “The Premier did ask up to keep an special eye on some vulnerable groups, including senior citizens.”
The teams are among more than 200 soldiers called up for disaster relief in the wake of the massive storm.
Around 20 soldiers have been deployed to back up police with reassurance patrols and to deter crime, while liaison officers have been sent to Prospect police HQ to help coordinate disaster relief operations.
And hospital staff and two ambulances have also been sent to Warwick Camp.
Col Foster-Brown said: “They’re here so we can provide medical assistance in case access to the hospital is restricted.”
He added: “This is a big, slow, strong hurricane – there are going to be storm force and above winds over Bermuda for about 30 hours.
“While we hope for the best, we’re ready for the worst and stand ready to help where we can.”
The Regiment’s tarpaulin distribution centre is scheduled to open as soon as the storm has cleared.
And the Regiment’s soldiers were tonight bracing themselves for a massive clear-up operation.
Pte Tre Minors, 20, from Smith’s, normally serves in the Regiment’s infantry company – but is ready to be deployed wherever he is needed.
He said: “I will be most likely clearing the roads and loading trucks with debris.
“I’m not nervous, but hopefully my own home will be safe. Apart from that, I’ll just get on with it.”
Pte Rayneika Ible, a 29-year-old hostess at the Fairmont Southampton, said: “I’ll be helping with damaged roofs and clearing debris. I’m ready for this and we’re just going to get on with it.”
And Pte Eddie DeSilva, 22, an insurance company sales agent, added: “It’s cool being around the guys waiting for the storm. I’m ready for whatever I’m asked to do. I know it’s going to be bad, but we will do our job.”
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