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SSI team training session is next week

By Staff | Apr 8, 2011

On Wednesday, April 13, Captiva Island Fire Control District Captain Alan Delameter will present a training session for islanders interested in becoming a part of the Structural Safety Inspection (SSI) team, a group of volunteers responsible for conducting damage analyses on Captiva in the event of a severe tropical storm.

The two-hour training session will begin on April 13 at 3 p.m. in the Auger Room at South Seas Island Resort.

“If people are interested in joining the SSI team, all they have to do is come to the training and fill out the application and participate in the training session, and we also ask that they provide a report from a physical exam from sometime within the past year,” said Fire District Assistant Chief Rich Dickerson. “When you’re doing the inspections after a major storm, the biggest problem is the heat, and we want to make sure that volunteers can handle that type of heat and exertion and be fit enough to meet those type of demands.”

Volunteers must reside on the islands during storm season.

“Storm season officially starts on June 1, but around here, it really doesn’t get cranked up until August. Season peaks in mid-September and typically slows down by the second week of October, so August through October is when we really have to watch it,” Dickerson said.

Dickerson also said that having a construction background is beneficial but not essential for volunteers. He also said that people who meet the requirements, but technically reside on Sanibel, are also welcome to join the team.

“There are about 40 members on the Sanibel SSI team and the Captiva team has about a dozen, but we’d like to get at least 10 more people,” Dickerson said.

After a major storm and after the Fire District conducts an initial search and rescue and preliminary assessment, SSI team members will split off into teams of three and conduct a more thorough inspection of the island.

Dickerson noted that the Fire District and SSI Team Leader and volunteer firefighter Mark Wells are considering conducting practice assessment drills later this summer.

A hurricane preparation seminar — a free educational program that is open to the public — will be held Tuesday, May 10 at South Seas Island Resort. For more information about hurricane preparedness, go to the Captiva Hurricane Preparation and Response Committee’s website, www.MyCaptiva.info.

For more information about the Structural Safety Inspection team, call the Captiva Island Fire Control District, 472-9494, and ask for Alan Delameter, Rich Dickerson or Chief Jay Halverson.