June 21, 20131561Views

Friday, June
Officers of the Virgin Islands (VI) Fire and Rescue
Service are participating in a Road Traffic Collision (Vehicle) Extrication training
this week which focus on incident management, scene and equipment safety,
stabilisation, extrication equipment techniques and the management of space,
glass and debris.

extrication involves six main steps. They include avoiding secondary hazards at
the accident scene, patient triage and initial medical assessment, securing the
vehicle; gaining access to the vehicle’s interior, manipulating and removing
sections of the vehicle to allow for safe removal of the accident victim and
removal of the victim from the vehicle. Extrication involves the use of many
lifesaving tools including the “Jaws of Life”, cutters, spreaders, door busters
and rams.  

training is being offered by two Emergency Response and Management Trainers
from the Saint Maarten Fire Department.

Head of
the Prevention, Preparedness, Education and Training with the Saint Maarten
Fire Department, Mr. Silvanico Pauletta expressed his pleasure in being able to
support the Government of the Virgin Islands and working through the Department
of Disaster Management to offer this critical training for the
firefighters.  He said, “Fire Fighters in
Saint Maarten undergo extensive training and intense certification examinations
in this critical area of rescue operations and we are very happy that we can
share this knowledge and experience with our colleagues in the BVI.”

Pauletta explained that extrication is usually done by medically certified
individuals. This means that rescue teams must work closely with the emergency
medical services or be trained in emergency medical response. In small
Territories, cross training is essential and firefighters must be able to
respond adequately to all types of scenarios and apply a variety of skills.

Chief Fire
Officer, Zebalon McLean was excited about partnering with the Saint Maarten
Fire Department and was confident about their proficiency in this area and in
their ability to successfully certify the local Fire Officers. “My time with
the DDM allowed me to observe capabilities of regional and international Fire
Services. While the Dutch system may provide specific structures and
terminologies, their training allows for the establishment of centres of
competence to ably prepare responders for emergencies, crises and disasters,” he

“At the
end of the week, I expect all 12 of our fire officers to be fully certified!”
adding, “Ongoing training in the VI Fire and Rescue Service serves to support
and maintain capacity development and enhance knowledge and skills in all
areas, including rescue operations.  I am
thankful that our colleagues at the DDM have been able to continue to provide training
for us and other agencies as they have been doing for many years.” 

At the
conclusion of the training, the Officers will undertake rigorous theoretical
and practical examinations in order to be officially recertified. The Vehicle
Extrication Training, in particular, is being funded by the Governor’s Office.
It began on June 17 and will conclude on Friday, June 21.

Department of Disaster Management has partnered with the VI Fire and Rescue
Service, Airport Crash Fire Rescue Unit and the Royal Virgin Islands Police
Force to provide a month long training programme in a number of critical
response areas.