A clinic staff nurse in St Vincent & the Grenadines has commended Royal Bermuda Regiment soldiers for “doing an excellent job” on a run-down health clinic in need of upgrades.

The local contingent spent the day (June 17) renovating the facility, as part of the multi-national Exercise Tradewinds.

A spokesperson said, “RBR troops from Logistics Company installed high intensity security lights at the free public clinic, which has been hit by burglars, cut down trees that hid it from the nearby road to remove cover used by would-be thieves and repainted the building inside and out.

“More troops are scheduled to install secure fencing around the building before the RBR leaves the multi-national Exercise Tradewinds which is being held in the country, on Saturday.”

Clinic staff nurse Zelell Rogers said: “The soldiers are doing an excellent job. It needed a lot of work done.

“We have had some problems with people breaking in and stealing computers and drugs.

“But they have cleared the surrounding area so it will make it harder for thieves.

“We felt unsafe when there was only one person in the in the clinic – it’s much safer now,” she added.

St Vincent & the Grenadines Forestry Department staff join forces with the RBR to clear downed trees

“The Royal Bermuda Regiment soldiers have been very pleasant. We feel safe with them around.”

Sergeant Major Rupert Lambert, who heads up the team said: “It’s our community project and we’re on our third day now.

“We’ve powerwashed the outside of the building, the walkways and walls in preparation for painting. And the security lighting we’ve installed will greatly improve their safety.

“It’s a traditional thing for the RBR to do community work when we’re on overseas camp. It’s a public clinic and we’re very happy to help them out.”

RBR Private Yerodin Nesbitt, 34, added: “It’s good that we can make a positive contribution to our host country.

Pte Nesbitt, a chef and part-time mechanic in civilian live, also noted that “the people in St Vincent have been very nice”.

“So it’s good to pay them back a little for our stay here,” he said.

St Vincent TV station SVG Broadcasting Company also visited the clinic while the soldiers were there working to interview the island’s Minister for Health Luke Browne, RBR Commanding Officer David Curley and Frankie Joseph, the Deputy Commissioner of Police.

Minister Browne said: “It’s a great act of generosity to have at our disposal 30 to 50 soldiers to improve the clinic, which is visited by thousands of people and serves several communities.

“Because we will have a more comfortable environment for patients and staff, the clinic will attract more people and there will be a better standard of care.

RBR Pte Davonne Daniels wields his chainsaw to remove downed trees in St Vincent & the Grenadines”When people have a more comfortable environment, it will encourage them to come here more often.

“When people see we have individuals from outside our country here for Exercise Tradewinds and contributing in this kind of way, there will be great appreciation for the Royal Bermuda Regiment in St Vincent & the Grenadines.”

Lt Col Curley noted that the clinic was chosen for the community work because it was close to the RBR’s main base.

“We are more than happy to help out and it also tests the versatility, teamwork and logistics ability of our soldiers, which improves their skills,” he said.

The soldiers also helped cut back overhanging trees in the Mesopotamia area to assist the Forestry Department.

Pte Umar Durrant has ‘injuries’ applied by medic Pte Kianna Bremar before he plays a casualty in a training scenario

Twenty troops from 5 Platoon also assisted the heavy equipment section of Humanitarian Aid and Disaster Relief B Company, to help clear the road of debris.

Pte Umar Durrant has ‘injuries’ applied by medic Pte Kianna Bremar before he plays a casualty in a training scenario

Sgt Maj Rupert Lambert of the RBR is on a roll as he gives the Sion Hill Clinic a new coat of paint

Exercises included a simulated downed power cable training scenario to test the troops’ training, with a variety of simulated injuries acted as casualties to hone first aid skills.

Sgt Maj Rupert Lambert of the RBR is on a roll as he gives the Sion Hill Clinic a new coat of paintThe platoon also unloaded a Royal Canadian Navy ship carrying equipment for a Barbados Defence Force field hospital set up for Exercise Tradewinds and carried out reassurance patrols around St Vincent.

Sgt Maj Rupert Lambert of the RBR is on a roll as he gives the Sion Hill Clinic a new coat of paintPte Daniels said: “We are trained to turn our hands to anything, but helping clear roads of fallen trees and dealing with downed power lines is something we could expect to deal with at home.”

Sgt Maj Rupert Lambert of the RBR is on a roll as he gives the Sion Hill Clinic a new coat of paintCornelius Richards, a senior forestry supervisor, added: “It’s been a very smooth operation. The Regiment approached us and we welcomed the opportunity to take advantage of Exercise Tradewinds and the people who are here.”

Tradewinds was designed to build increased regional cooperation in complex multinational security operations, as well as humanitarian assistance and disaster response work.

Participating countries include the Bahamas, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Canada, Colombia, Dominica, the Dominican Republic, France, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Mexico, the Netherlands, St Kitts and Nevis, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, the United Kingdom and the United States.

  • Feature Photos Supplied – Top Photo [L to R] SVG health minister Luke Browne, SVG Deputy Commissioner of Police and RBR CO Lt Col David Curley give an interview to SVG News outside the Sion Hill Clinic