Basseterre, St. Kitts — Forty first responders with the St. Kitts and Nevis Fire and Rescue Services (SKNFRS) sharpened their response to emergencies during a two-day Incident Command System (ICS) Workshop held at the Department of Agriculture Conference Room.
ICS is a systematic tool used for command, control and coordination of emergency responses. It allows responders to adopt integrated organizational structures that meet the complex demands of incidents and also facilitates the proper deployment of manpower and the specific responsibilities to manage day to day operations for a variety of emergencies.
At a ceremony to open the workshop, course facilitator Fire Sub-Station Officer II, Davron Clarke, highlighted the value of the ICS system to the work of the men and women of the SKNFRS.
“The overall goal of the ICS is to improve on the preparedness of first responding agencies, who are required to coordinate a multiagency response to large incidents where the ICS hierarchy system can be operationalized, especially as it relates to natural and manmade events such as structural and commercial fires; cruise ship, aircraft and vehicular transportation accidents; search and rescue operations; oil spill and hazardous incidents,” he stated.
The ICS training is in keeping with the SKNFRS Action Plan for 2018, which is geared towards the training and development of all fire officers.
Chief Fire Officer, Everette O’Garro, noted that the timing of the training is quite appropriate given that September is just a few days away and it marks the peak period of the annual Atlantic Hurricane Season.
“As first responders who would be called upon to respond to emergency incidents it is important that you have an in-depth understanding of the system (ICS). As such, I ask you the participants to take the training very seriously as someone’s property or life may well depend on the efficient and effective management of your response,” O’Garro said.
The fire chief credited the SKNFRS In-Service Training Team for its expertise in coordinating the workshop as efforts continue to “enhance and improve our response to emergencies and disasters.”