Basseterre, St. Kitts (SKNIS) — “Children Safety is our Responsibility” is the central message being shared with more than 200 youth in St. Kitts, attending the annual Summer Safety Camp organized by the St. Kitts-Nevis Fire and Rescue Services.
“The programme is geared towards educating children from the ages of 5 to 12 years in the areas of: Fire, Water, and Traffic Safety as well as Disaster Tips,” explained Fire Station Officer Abdias Samuel.
The camps are being held in the districts of Basseterre, Tabernacle and Sandy Point. There are a number of child friendly activities that demonstrate the Stop, Drop and Roll technique, how to make the environment around you less of a fire hazard, how to cross the road safely and many more.
Ajani Mills, 11, and Uzaria Hodge, 12, highlighted some of what they learnt.
If you are in the kitchen and you are cooking, you have to stay in the kitchen because something could go off and [the flame] catches something and bam your house is on fire,” Ajani said. “Also, if you are in your house and it fills with smoke you have to get down low [to the ground] because it has colder air down there so you can crawl out and breathe easier.”
“Only call 911 for an emergency and not to fool around,” Uzaria stressed, hinting at pranks that some persons of her age perform. At home, the young girl said she is careful to pay close attention to the stove and does not play with matches. Lessons she learnt from attending the camp for the past three years.
“I always come to the camp because they teach us a lot of things and we have fun,” she emphasized.
Adults have also given the summer initiative thumbs up. Theodean Taylor stopped by to visit her two nieces and nephew attending the sessions in Tabernacle.
“I think it is a good idea,” she added. “If some of the children want to become firefighters [when they are older] they would know what [their] responsibilities are. Also if there is a fire … at their home they will know what to do in order to escape the fire or out (extinguish) it.”
It is a testament to the success of the camp which was introduced in 2002 in St. Kitts and the following year in Nevis. Fire Sub Station Officer Elvis Isaac said the proof is in the numbers.
“We had a list of 85 children [registered] and this morning we still had children coming,” he stated. “Also, there is a significant reduction in fires that are caused by children now compared to numbers in the past.”
That downward trend will undoubtedly help homeowners breathe much easier over the summer vacation. The Fire Safety Camp began on Wednesday, July 22 on concludes on Friday, July 24.