St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN): Some five hundred children are now more educated on fire safety and prevention thanks to their attendance at the annual St. Kitts and Nevis Fire & Rescue Service Annual Summer Safety Program.
The program saw its highest number of participants ever this year.
The Annual Summer Safety Program focuses on educating children aged 5-12 on the basics of safety in various areas, namely fire, water, traffic, disaster preparedness and crime and violence.
At the program’s closing ceremony on Friday, Fire Station Officer Garfield Hodge discussed how equipping children with safety and prevention tools contributes to national development.
“Our organization, St. Kitts-Nevis Fire and Rescue Services, has played a critical role in positively molding and shaping young minds. We have contributed to national development and our program has touched and impacted countless lives in making the right decisions and becoming good and productive citizens, yes, this program has produced respectable and uniformed careered individuals, who are now members of national security entities , in particular the Fire and Rescue services, our very own organization. Let it be recorded that in era where crime has spiked to unprecedented levels, our organization is doing its part to cut crime by molding minds.”
This year, the St. Kitts branch of the summer safety program is celebrating fifteen years of operation under the theme “Fifteen Years of Cultivating a Culture of Safety.”
Fire Officer Hodge says that over the course of fifteen years, the program has grown tremendously and has expanded from three days to five to include a thorough course in all aspects of safety.
“I can personally recollect the summer of 2002 when having joined the ranks of February of that year when the lone pioneer, then Women Fire Sub Station Officer, Natalie Foe, hosted the first ever summer safety camp, it was but just a handful of children, not more than twenty, the topics too were few and limited but over the years the program has expanded and evolved into the life impacting event that we have seen today. Since then twenty children have turned into a historic figure of five hundred children, who are gathered here today.”
Children who performed exceptionally well in the program were awarded the titles of Junior Fire Chief and Junior Deputy Fire Chief by officers of the Fire and Rescue Service.
The 15th Annual Summer Safety Program ran from the 10th of July to the 14th and was held at the Basseterre, Tabernacle and Sandy Point fire stations. The camp ended with a march from Green Lands to the Basseterre Fire Station on Friday morning.