St. Kitts-Nevis Fire and Rescue Services’ internal training benefits from Tradewinds simulations
BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – In-house training for members of the St. Kitts-Nevis Fire and Rescue Services (SKNFRS) can now be better adjusted following several simulations that tested the organization’s response times and emergency standard operating procedures.
The SKNFRS took part in the human assistance and disaster relief component of the Tradewinds 2018 Exercise in St. Kitts and Nevis. The SKNFRS was involved in three of four simulation exercises, excluding the ferry accident exercise that primarily involved the St. Kitts and Nevis Coast Guard. The SKNFRS played a critical role in the mud slide, earthquake/tsunami and airplane crash simulations. Some of the objectives of the drills were to test emergency response procedures, times and mechanisms for the agencies involved. The activities were also meant to assess multi-agency response and coordination, victim transporting capabilities for the hospital, as well as the activation and management of an emergency operating centre (EOC).
Fire Chief Everette O’Garro said that he thought the exercises were successful, saying that fire and rescue officers also did a commendable job. However, the fire chief explained that there were also lessons to be learned from the experience.
“Well, the exercise and training have been extremely beneficial to the St. Kitts-Nevis Fire and Rescue Services in that it helps us to recognise our weaknesses and our strengths,” he said. “And [it] gives us information as to what we need to work on, how do we improve our response mechanism, what type of equipment we need, what type of training we need in terms of personnel and so the whole thing has been extremely beneficial. It has helped us to recognise a number of our shortcomings and look at things that we could work on.”
As a result, the training regime for the SKNFRS officers will be adjusted to tackle the areas identified as shortcomings. “The institution has what we call internal training and so we’re going to make a list of the things that we recognise needs to be worked on and we will definitely do internal training, as well as we could seek help from other agencies who can assist us in making sure we bring our guys up to speed with what needs to be done,” the fire chief said.