Fire and rescue officers in St. Kitts will be learning new techniques to respond to traffic accidents with an increase of vehicles in the Federation and an increase in traffic accidents.

The Federation had 51 vehicular accidents in December 2017, while January 2018 had 60 traffic accidents being recorded.

This week the Fire and Rescue Department opened a Road Traffic Collision training course to teach a new set of skills to 14 fire officers within its ranks.

Fire Sub-Officer and Course Instructor, Darnell Archibald, said that it was important to improve the officers’ ability to rescue victims in accidents.”The Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis, had an influx of vehicles which makes the potential for accidents more imminent.

“He continued, “The Fire and Rescue Services have made it a priority to ensure that their first responders are prepared…In so doing, the course is designed to equip 14 participants with modern techniques and the knowledge required to effectively extricate causalities from motor vehicle accidents.”

Archibald and his co-instructors for the course Fire Sub-Station Officer, Timothy Martin and Fire Officer Desmond Delashley are regional instructors having attended a Fire Services College in the United Kingdom in 2015. “We attained qualifications in Firefighter Development Core Skills, such as ladder operations, knots, pumps and hazardous materials, fire fighting development programme that refers to structural fire fighting procedures and techniques, road traffic collisions, casualty care and vehicle extrication.”

He stated that the course will include theoretical and practical formats and participants will undergo written and practical assessments to ensure they fully understand the new techniques.

Head of the Fire and Rescue Department Everett O’Garro described the course as important and timely with the huge influx of vehicle over the past three years. “We can agree that with an increase of vehicles you would see an increase in road traffic collisions and we are more than likely to see an increase in the different type of collisions that request a response from the fire and rescue services.”

He stated that the course was a proactive approach undertaken by the organization he leads. “This requires us to act as a responsible organization. The commencement of this training signals our proactive approach making sure we are ready to respond when called on to do so.”

O’Garro encouraged the officers to take the course seriously as they will learn new techniques that will assist them in effectively carrying out their roles. As he tells the officers, “Due to the very nature of your work performed by rescue and fire fighting personnel such as yourself, it is extremely critical that you take part in initial and important comprehensive training that will assist you in maintaining skills and techniques that are critical to your daily work.”

He added, “The training you’re about to embark on will do just that. A lot is expected of you. People’s lives literally can be in your hands. Apply yourself, be attentive, be focused and grasp as much as you can over the next…five days.”