Eighteen fire officers attached to the BVI Airports
Authority (BVIAA) Rescue and Fire Fighting Services (RFFS) are now better
prepared to provide emergency care to persons requiring such assistance.
The officers completed a week-long course in Emergency
Care and Treatment (ECAT) organised by the Department of Disaster Management
(DDM) and funded by the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) Area on Emergency
Preparedness and Disaster Relief (PED).
DDM’s Training Officer, Ms. Carishma Hicks noted that
this is the second ECAT course for emergency personnel that the DDM has
facilitated this year, with police officers benefitting from similar training
“Being able to host two ECAT courses this year is a
remarkable achievement for the department given the limited budget with which
we operate. Without the support of donor agencies like PAHO, this training
which is a core competency standard requirement for emergency personnel, will
be difficult to undertake,” Ms. Hick said.
She added, “It is also important to build capacity on
all of the main islands, not just Tortola and in this course, fire officers
from Anegada and Virgin Gorda had the opportunity to participate.”
Chief Fire Officer, Mr. Lorrie George welcomed the
opportunity to have officers trained, saying such training enhances the
capability of officers, instills confidence in them and builds morale.
“The ECAT course was most beneficial because it
provided an opportunity for the newly recruited officers, who have not yet been
exposed to training, to get up to speed. For the more seasoned officers, the
ECAT training provided that extra ability to render assistance in addition to what
we are already trained to do,” Mr. George stated.
The basic objective of the Emergency Care and
Treatment course is to develop the skills of officers as first responders,
specifically in the area of patient care and assessment at the scene of injury,
illness or catastrophe. Participants learn how to provide quick and appropriate
interventions on the scene to save lives. The training programme was
facilitated by Mr. Peter Burgess, a retired officer from the Barbados Defence
Force who has been part of the PAHO team of instructors for more than 15 years.