NIA — An official in the St. Kitts and Nevis Fire and Rescue Services (SKNFRS), Nevis Division, believes that continuous education on the dangers of fire and safety measures are of utmost importance.
Deputy Fire Officer Abdias Samuel told the Department of Information in an invited comment, moments after the official start of the 15th Annual Summer Safety Programme at the Jessups Community Centre on July 03, 2017, that the programme continues to serve as a deterrent.
“It is important for us to continuously educate the children. Most incidents happen with children when they are home and they don’t have anything to do…
“If we continuously educate the children, they would have this engraved in their minds, they would have that safety culture consistently and persistently in the back of their minds, so they would think twice before they take any action that could be detrimental to either property or themselves,” he said.
The ongoing programme would usually be held over a three-day period. However, in celebration of its 15th anniversary, it is being extended to five days. The areas that will be covered are Fire Safety, Water Safety, Traffic Safety, Disaster Preparedness, Crime and Violence and Environmental Health.
Samuel, indicated that once it is determined that the longer period is a more effective and efficient way to impart the information and carry out the Fire Department’s mandate to educate children in particular, it could serve as the programme’s new timeframe in the future.
He noted that the Department continues to seek innovative ways to make the programme more creative, engaging, user friendly and accepted by the participants to achieve the desired result of reductions or zero fires or any related emergencies.
In the meantime, Samuel explained that this year, the Department has teamed up with the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force (RSCNPF) to add an element of crime fighting in the programme. That segment would be led by a police officer.
“If we start with the root of problems to crime and education…at this level with primary school students, we can be an agent of change with his programme in our fight against crime,” he said.
The annual programme is a collaborative partnership with the primary schools which the Deputy Fire Officer says allows many children to benefit.
He said they encourage the schools to give opportunities to other children to avoid the same children attending. However, children who have returned are used to share their experiences with new participants.
The Annual Summer Safety Programme commenced in the Nevis Division in 2003, one year after it began in St. Kitts. The educational programme was introduced to equip primary school children with safety and prevention tools to enhance their ability to deal with emergencies, should they arise.
Since 2008, the St. James, Violet O. Nicholls, St. Johns, Gingerland, Charlestown, Ivor Walters, Lynn Jeffers, Montessori International and Bellevue International Primary Schools have benefited from the programme.