NIA Charlestown Nevis (July 18, 2014)–The St. Kitts and Nevis Fire and Rescue Services held its annual Summer Safety Programme from July 16 – 18, 2014 at the Cotton Ground Community Centre under the theme “Never stop learning because life never stops teaching.”
The programme was initiated in Nevis in July 2003 as a three-day programme which is geared towards creating a preventative culture by educating children between the ages of five and 12 years on safety practices. The subject areas covered included Fire, Water and Traffic safety and Disaster Preparedness.
Premier of Nevis Hon. Vance Amory, while delivering remarks during the programme’s opening ceremony, addressed the importance of the workshop for the children.
“While we recognize fire as an agent, water as an agent and vehicular traffic also as an agent useful in our lives, we also must recognize that they can be very disastrous and very destructive. Therefore, we must be able to have an understanding of how we utilize them, how we manage those agents if we are to get the best results from their usage and not to suffer any disasters as a result of those agents.
“I think the St. Kitts and Nevis Fire and Rescue Services, the officers of that agency, through this medium, this summer camp…are embarking on that very mission, to get our children to understand how to use these agents for good and wherever there is any unfortunate event that they will be able to manage it, control it, and/or prevent it,” he said.
Mr. Amory encouraged the children to use the programme as a learning experience and to share the knowledge acquired with other members of the community.
“My very simple challenge or encouragement to you as children taking part in this exercise for the next three days is to learn all of the little techniques, all of the little strategies, all of the “do’s and don’ts” with respect to these agents: fire, water, vehicles…As you go through the next three days, take the instruction seriously…Talk with your friends and your fellow trainees so that you can have a better understanding of what this means to you as a person, what it means to you as a member in a community and what it could mean in terms of your community.
“At the end of it, should we have any of these disasters any of these events, we know that we have a cadre of people who will be able to help to minimize and mitigate the negative effects of any fall-outs from those areas. So learn all you can and try to share it with others so that you can be an agent of change, an agent of being prepared in the case of any eventuality,” he said.
Fire Sub Officer Mavis Whyte-Archibald, who gave an overview of the programme, explained that since its introduction, there has been a significant decline in fire emergencies involving children. She also pledged the support and commitment of the St. Kitts and Nevis Fire and Rescue Services to the sustainable development of the country.
Science Coordinator Shefton Liburd also made remarks on behalf of the NIA’s Ministry of Education.
The opening ceremony was chaired by Fire Officer and Programme Coordinator Alvin Rodriguez, while Divisional Fire Officer David Stapleton gave the vote of thanks.