The Disaster Managers joined with the Deputy National Disaster Coordinator, Mrs. Claricia Langley-Stevens and the Staff at NEMA to bid farewell to former leader and Manager, National Disaster Coordinator, Carl Herbert, as he embarks on the most recent leg of his life’s journey. Mrs. Langley-Stevens said that she and her Team would like to record their immense gratitude to the long-term Disaster Coordinator and to remind him of the positive impact he would have made on Disaster Management in the Federation.
“We, his colleagues, of course would have benefited from Mr. Herbert’s service, both professionally and personally,” She said, “and we now encourage him to explore the countless blessings that will inevitably be bestowed upon him, as a result of his impeccable public service.”
In his final staff meeting at NEMA, which took place at the end of January this year, extremely emotional, personal and professional stories were shared by members of staff: Claricia Langley-Stevens, Jacynth Francis, Vesta Southwell, Anthea Earle-Hendrickson, Clara Tuckett, Patrick Williams, Lejon James and Sandra Liburd.
“Think before you act. It all depends on you,” Mr. Herbert shared at the end of the meeting before retreating to a surprise ceremony on his behalf in the Conference Room at NEMA. The private farewell was attended by Mrs. Patricia Herbert, his wife and numerous colleagues and stakeholders of the agency, including Minister and Chair of the Mitigation Council, Hon. Shawn K. Richards.
In his remarks, Minister Richards complimented Mr. Herbert for ensuring continuity in the Disaster Management Lead Office, by initiating training and skills upgrades for the staff who will continue to take his lessons forward, in his absence.
Carl Herbert has served his community in an exemplary manner spanning more than 30 years. After graduating High School in 1979, he was employed with Government, which was a dream he attributes to his sisters working in the Civil Service.
Mr. Herbert applied to Government to work as a Customs Officer but was assigned to the Department of Establishments instead, as a Vote Clerk. He credits his impressive work ethic to his Teachers, both at High School and Sunday School, even though he entered the workforce immediately following his graduation.
Mr. Herbert worked at Establishments for eight years before being transferred to the Electricity Department as a Cashier.
“In the Civil Service there is opportunity for learning,” he said, “so that an officer can be transferred at any time, any place; as against what seemed to have evolved.”
Mr. Herbert explained that it is more likely now for officers to be transferred as a disciplinary matter or if they were qualified for a particular post or vacancy. He said that he was surprised by a call from then Permanent Secretary (Acting) in Establishments, Gweneth Edwards, who told him that he was selected for transfer based upon how he applied himself in his position, at that time.
He remembers one day being invited to meet with the Rotary Club at the invitation of Mr. Alphonso Bridgewater, to set up a Summer Camp, to be sponsored by Rotary in collaboration with Community Developnment. At that meeting, Mr. Herbert was selected to be the Camp Director, as he says being ”…thrown right into the fire once again…” during which period he attended a 4 month course at Mona, in Jamaica as a Community Development Officer. While in attendance at the workshop, Hurricane Gilbert struck launching a new direction for the man who would eventually lead the agency with responsibility for Disaster Coordination, for more than twenty years.
Upon returning to St. Kitts and Nevis, the former NDC returned to Community Development with links to the St. Kitts-Nevis Amateur Radio Society after witnessing immense devastation in Jamaica, as a result of Hurricane Gilbert. Following his experience there, Hurricanes Marilyn and Luis struck in 1995, the same year that St. Kitts-Nevis hosted US SOUTHCOM Tradewinds for the first time, which required the Federation to set up an agency to manage disasters, as part of the requirements for participation.
That arrangement led to the creation of the National Emergency Management Agency, with Errol Maynard leading as NDC at that time, and Carl Herbert as a Senior Officer.
“Carl Herbert has been a valued leader of the NEMA Team for many years, and we wish him the very best. We know he will be successful in his bright future adventure and we hope that retiring affords him the opportunity to soar.” – Message from the NEMA Team.