June 21 – Emergency
responders from the Virgin Islands Fire and Rescue Service, Airport Crash Fire
Unit and the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force will commence module two of the
Water Rescue Training this week.
. This module follows a two-week course in
swimming and water safety which ended on June 14 where 12 Fire Officers were
The Water Rescue module targets
selected operational personnel who respond to incidents in or near water. This
module introduces water rescue equipment including its safe and effective use. Additionally, it progressively develops the
student to be confident in and around water.
The officers learnt how to analyse the water conditions, execute wading
rescues and self-rescue techniques that are appropriate to the risk.
The training is being facilitated by
the Swim School in conjunction with the Surf Life Saving organisation and is
being implemented by the Department of Disaster Management.
Martine Allee in explaining the objectives of the course said, “The second
module is designed to ensure that emergency responders are able to identify the
basic characteristics and hazards of the water environment in the Virgin
Islands as well as expose them to the appropriate safety measures and rescue
techniques that are to be utilised when working near or in water.”
expressed her satisfaction with the responders who participated in the first
module and said, “I was very pleased with the level of commitment and
discipline exhibited by the responders. Our initial goal was to certify the
officers in a 150 meter swim but by the end of the two-week period, two
responders were able to swim a distance of nearly 600 meters while the others
exceed the goal of 150 meters.”
Ms. Allee emphasised
that it is important for these Fire Officers to continue developing their
swimming and water safety skills and recommended that this aspect of response
be included in the training programme offered to incoming responders as well as
those who wish to maintain their skills.
Director, DDM Ms. Evangeline Inniss, explained that the training being offered
to the emergency responders is important in ensuring that adequate capacity for
emergency response operations exists. She said, “The Virgin Islands environment
is unique and there are emergencies that happen both on land and at sea and
emergency responders must be trained and ready to be deployed at moment’s
Rescue training is funded by the African, Caribbean Pacific European Union (ACP
EU) Natural Disaster Facility Disaster Risks Management Sub-Regional Programme
managed through the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA).