To enhance emergency telecommunications across 10 communities in Jamaica, leading to a reduction in the impact of natural and man-made disasters. Specifically the project has 3 direct objectives. These are as follows:


  1. To establish a trained corps of volunteer emergency telecommunications operators and equip them to provide and access emergency services to communities before, during and after disaster events.
  2. To design and establish a community emergency telecommunications system i.e. the Emergency Affiliated Radio service (E.A.R.S), including procuring equipment and network resources.

3. To establish a management system for E.A.R.S. volunteer teams, to handle their upkeep, readiness and deployment, as well as for supporting their families in events when they are deployed for emergencies or disasters.





 Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade    Development







 th (2)

Government of Jamaica 

Ministry of Local Government – Parish Councils





Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management




Clarendon Rocky Point
Clarendon Portland Cottage
Portland Manchioneal
Portland Skibo
St. Ann Lime Hall
St. Mary Annotto Bay
St. Mary Jeffrey Town
St. Mary Port Maria
St. Thomas John’s Town
St. Thomas Trinityville



ODPEM Network Diagram

EARS Comms Diagram



1. 360 community volunteers trained in emergency communications

The proposed project will result in the establishment of a trained cadre of 360 community volunteers equipped with the necessary skills and tools to run an emergency communications system.

2. Increased  access to national emergency communications

Ten (10) additional communities in Jamaica will have access to emergency communications in the event of a natural hazard impact or other emergency. Ready access to communications will prevent chaos and allow emergency agencies to speedily mitigate disaster conditions including reducing their impact on communities.

3. Management System for operating E.A.R.S. Volunteer Teams

Trained volunteers formed into community teams and managed by Abacus for Communities.

4. Strengthened Preparedness and Response capabilities

The project will contribute in the longer term to increasing Jamaica’s sustained resilience, by reducing vulnerability and liability in disasters and improving its ability to adapt to climate change, through increased awareness, knowledge, preparedness, ownership and response at community level.

BUDGET (CAD dollars):

  • DFATD Contribution:  CAD $ 80,683
  • Abacus Contribution: CAD $ 24,650
  • ODPEM and Beneficiaries Contributions: CAD $ 26,250
  • TOTAL BUDGET: CAD $ 131,583



–        Duration :   12 Months

–        Start Date :  1 Jan 2015

–        Finish Date:  No later than  31 May 2016



Abacus for Communities
  • EARS personnel management
  • Management oversight and supervision of community personnel, equipment care and maintenance programme.
  • Management oversight and supervision of ongoing skills training as part of the community training programme.
ODPEM (assisted by suitable government agencies and telecommunications support groups e.g. AEROTEL, JARA, etc)
  • Maintenance of equipment.
  • Ongoing skills training as part of a national training programme.
  • Public Relations
  • Support Personnel Management system
  • Responsibility and accountability for care and ‘operator (first line) maintenance’ of equipment.
  • Organization and conduct of skills training as part of an ongoing community training of trainers programme.
Civil Society Organizations
  • Mutual cooperation with skills training programmes and projects.
  • Equipment provisioning for mutual community support projects.
  • Support Personnel Management system.
Private sector
  • Ongoing support for equipment provision and maintenance
  • Support specified skills training upon request via project proposals.
  • Support Personnel Management system
Regional government agencies (Parish Councils / Disaster Committees, etc).
  • Provide ongoing skills training as part of regional training programmes.
  • Support equipment maintenance and Personnel Management system
International Donors (UN agencies, Foreign Embassies, International NGOs (e.g. HelpAge), and others. 
  • Provision additional equipment/upgrades and advanced skills training upon request through project proposals.
  • Support to community training programme upon request via proposals.


Chairman Abacus for Communities: Lt Col (Retd) Stacey Thompson

E-mail: stacey@abacusjamaica.com

Tel: c/o 876 775 4208