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May 2, 2017

Emergency Operators Continue Training

Do you know how to contact the emergency response authorities if you come across the scene of an accident? The number to call is 223-3292, but many people don’t do that immediately. In this age of technology, they take pictures and upload them to online social media networks.  And while in many instances that is the public’s response when they come across an emergency, what about those who respond to these emergencies? The Fire department, Police, local traffic department and special constables are the ones who usually go to assist in these cases – but do they always respond on time and effectively? Today, they conducted training with officials from BERT to help them brush up on the basics of emergency response.  News Five’s Andrea Polanco attended today’s event and shares more.


Andrea Polanco, Reporting

Three weeks ago the emergency response agencies carried out an accident simulation. The fatal traffic accident happened at the busy intersection of Princess Margaret Drive and Saint Joseph Street. One man died on scene and at least seven others were injured. It was a test to review the response capacity of the responders – and today three weeks later they are reviewing the entire exercise. One of the main things that stood out was the public’s immediate reaction to the scene of the accident.


Philip Willoughby

Philip Willoughby, CEMO, Councilor

“The citizenry, on approaching any accident scene or incident scene, the first thing they go to is their phone and look to post a picture to social media rather than really calling the number.   So, taking a picture and not calling the requisite important number – you need to call to reach the relevant agencies. We hope that through this initiative here; please call 223-3393 – that is BERT’s number or the 911 hotline. That is the number to get a response in a timely and efficient manner.”


So, to build on response to that exercise, the fire, police, special constables and local traffic department are learning how to manage the scene of an incident until BERT or other medical personnel arrives – and the first thing to know is basic first aid.


Andre Carillo

Andre Carillo, GM & National Coordinator

“It has long been a dream of BERT to see not only an expansion of the ambulance service country-wide but to also see an expansion of the level of training that we provide; which is  basic first aid and basic to advance life support. So, it is important that we bring in the key players today to be able to assist them in training them but to also highlight what their roles are in society and also in emergency management.  It starts with basic first aid at the scene of any disaster management or road traffic accident. It starts with when you approach the scene basically, how to be able to assess the patient; how to be able to determine the level of injury that you can see physically; and then how to decide basically if you need to move somebody in the case there is a life support further support that is needed.”


The simulation helps to test the capacities of the response agencies so that they can make changes where needed.


Andre Carillo

“Today gives us the opportunity to clarify what everybody’s role is. One of the most important things at any scene is scene safety and so it is important that we work in coordination with the Police and the Traffic Department to ensure the scene is safe. Because when you are in an emergency situation tension flares up and it is generally chaos.   There will always be room for improvement especially in an emergency situation that you can’t forecast and so that gives us an indication of where we are and where we need to be and so after that we did some follow up trainings to improve our services.”


This kind of training is not only useful to first responders like the Police, but also to Fire Official regardless of roles.


Chester Williams

ACP Chester Williams, Regional Commander, Eastern Division South

“It is critical because whatever happens on a scene by the first responders is critical to determine whether or not the person or persons on the scene will live or die. I sat in there and listen to some of the things explained by the BERT representative and they are very critical things; like looking for signs of life and what can be done if there is no sign of life. It is important that as police officers and as first responders we know these things especially responding to crime scene.”


Orin Smith

Orin Smith, Training Officer, Fire Department

“We don’t get notified unless there is a need for extrication. However, the first Aid treatment goes well beyond the emergency scene of a RTA. You can have incidences at the work, on the home front or the normalcy of life that extends beyond work. And you never know when these skills will be called into need.”


Reporting for News Five, I’m Andrea Polanco.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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