CARTS Police Cadets Project.
One of the hidden victims of disaster is recovery workers afterwards. We had the wonderful opportunity to develop a relationship with many of these people. One such group is the CARTS (Cordillera Administrative Region Training School) for police cadets. They had to set aside from their normal studies to work over 12 hours a day digging out landslides and search for victims. This is a very difficult job and one that, sadly, often does not get appreciated. We were able to work with a number of doctors, businessmen, and churches in providing vitamins, facemasks, gloves, and other needed items for their work. After their digging work was done, they needed to return to classes, but the memory lives on. For many, this was their first face-to-face encounter with the recovery of the dead. We were invited to speak to them on November 2nd. The day was divided up into 4 major sessions, each about 90 minutes. The first session was crisis intervention, where cadets were given the opportunity to share their experiences and discover meaning in this situation. The 2nd through 4th sessions were to help cadets and instructors in providing emergent crisis care. Since many of these cadets will become law enforcement officers who regularly meet people undergoing crises, this training should be a great help. We provided some Crisis Care manuals from the Virginia Baptist Mission Board Disaster Relief Program, and most of the discussion was led by Chaplain Benton of the same group. We provided merienda in the morning and afternoon, while CARTS provided a wonderful lunch for our team. Follow-up medical screening is planned for November 10th since a large number of cadets are suffering from coughs and other similar symptoms after the disaster relief work. Thanks to Colonel Paredo Jr., and Major Benitez in inviting us to be partnered with their work at CARTS. Approximately 221 cadets were helped and trained, along with several staff.