August 27, 20141171Views

An initiative
by the Department of Disaster Management (DDM) in collaboration with the
Training Division, the Virgin Islands Fire and Rescue Service (VIFRS) and the
BVI Red Cross will result in close to 100 teachers receiving emergency training
this week.

The training
in fire suppression and First Aid is being conducted as part of Professional
Development Week for teachers, during which they are prepared for the academic
year ahead. The training was initiated as part of the DDM’s 2014 capacity
building programme and received immediate support from the stakeholders

DDM’s Training
Officer, Ms. Carishma Hicks said, “The DDM has been working with individual
schools over the years to train teachers in various aspects of disaster
management but we saw an opportunity to have greater numbers trained in a
single setting and therefore approached the Training Division to facilitate the

Training in fire
suppression and First Aid training is a routine component of the SAFE School
programme which is spearheaded by the DDM in collaboration with the Ministry
and Department of Education. Under that programme, which seeks to ensure that
schools meet basic health and safety requirements, schools are assessed and
must achieve a score of 80-percent or higher to be eligible for SAFE School

Information and Education Manager, Ms. Philomena Robertson said, “It is
important that we equip teachers with the necessary skills to avert crises in
our schools. By training them in First Aid and fire suppression, we can rest
assured that they are able to perform the necessary tasks and stabilise the
situation while they await the arrival of professional emergency responders.”

Ms. Robertson also noted that the training helps to
build resiliency in communities. “Schools are an integral part of our
communities so we are first ensuring that the capability exists within that
setting but the teachers also live in other communities and with this training,
they will be able to provide that sort of assistance  when 

In the three training sessions hosted by the BVI Red
Cross, close to 50 teachers were trained in First Aid while a similar number
benefitted from the fire suppression training provided by the VIFRS.

Photo Captions:

  • Director of the BVI
    Red Cross evaluates one of the newly CPR certified teachers during the
    practical session of their First Aid training. 
  • Sub Officer Geraldo Barry keeps a close watch
    as one of the teachers demonstrates the use of the fire extinguisher during
    fire suppression training.