Emergency medical personnel boost for Fire Brigade

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THE Jamaica Fire Brigade will soon be able to offer better critical medical first aid when it responds to calls, as the number of emergency medical technicians (EMT) in its ranks will be boosted tremendously today.

“As it relates to emergency health care, we have in training now 109 recruits who will be graduating tomorrow (today),” Kevin Haughton, deputy commissioner in charge of operations at the Jamaica Fire Brigade announced yesterday. The new technicians, he said, will be a significant boost for emergency medical personnel in the brigade.

According to Haughton, in the past, the brigade has picked individuals from among its ranks to be trained as emergency medical technicians, but this is the first time that an entire batch of recruits has been trained in that area.

“We have used this batch as guinea pigs because what we are moving away from is that when you enter basic training you are thought to be a first-aider. Now we are upscaling and they were the first batch of persons to be trained as emergency medical responders,” said Haughton.

“This means that when it comes to emergency care, we can be in a better position to provide it,” added Haughton.

He was addressing an Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management media briefing yesterday to outline the brigade’s state of readiness for the 2019 Atlantic Hurricane Season, which starts today.

According to Haughton, the brigade has done its training and preparations and is ready.

“We have formulated comprehensive search and rescue plans, had training programmes and stimulation exercises on search and rescue of trapped persons, including vehicular execution, rescue of persons from collapsed buildings … swift water rescue and first aid treatment for disaster victims,” said Haughton.

— Arthur Hall

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