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Nov 3, 2009

BERT teaches Kolbe officers and inmates first aid

Story PictureEmergencies or disasters occur in the most unexpected of places and a quick response can make the difference. A two week course on how to manage these situations got underway today at the Hattieville prison where the life of inmates and employees can be at risk. BERT is providing instructions to both. Jose Sanchez reports from the Hattieville prison.

Jose Sanchez, Reporting
Though inmates are locked away from society, the nature of a penitentiary can be hazardous for those who live and work behind prison walls. That is why Kolbe’s in house doctor invited the Belize Emergency Response Team to conduct a First Responders training course to some of its employees.

Doctor Amos Ojo, Director of Kolbe Medic Center
“You know we are in a peculiar society where healthcare delivery is a bit unavailable. So we have to make better use of the available the resources that we have. The essence of this training is to get the officers and inmates acute so that when there is a disaster or management either in the cells or anywhere they can provide at least a basic health care delivery until the professionals come.”

Today’s lesson included a secondary survey of injuries. Javier Canul, an Emergency Medical Technician with BERT, says the course covers topics that are vital to the environment.

Javier Canul, Emergency Medical Technician, BERT
“We cover topics like anatomy and physiology which is how the body structures and functions; recovery topics such as gunshots, stab wounds falls, basically anything that will suit this prison environment. As you know, along with all this trauma comes things like diabetes, hypertension, epilepsy, nose bleeds, that sort of thing. So those are some of the topics that we cover but it is a two weeks intensive course.”

Sharon Buckley, Officer, Kolbe Foundation
It is very beneficial because sometimes the location where I’m working, sometimes incidents happen. By learning this course, you learn what to do until you can get further help for the inmates.”

Whitcomb Bennett, Officer, Kolbe Foundation
“It’s going to help me a lot in the future because I am working at the Kolbe Foundation in a part of the prison they call the industrial zone, where we have a lot of workers. We need all of these things because we have a lot of incidents that took place all these times. Inmates drop down and get hurt and I think this will really help me to help them to heal them from whatever problems they are going through; whatever illness, pain or anything they are going through that I can help them.”

But not only prison guards, the inmates themselves are likely first responders in a crisis. That is why several of them have been invited to participate in the course.

Doctor Amos Ojo
“We have a couple of inmates that are working work with me at the medic center as qualified and well trained EMT officials. So from time to time we see the need to provide a good quality health care to members of the prison society.”

Geraldine Cain, Inmate
“This is helping me a lot and its very beneficial because being amongst the female inmates as myself, if something happens to one of them before the medics can reach, there is always something I can do to help that individual.”

Dean Sutherland, Inmate
“Lotta things get happen. Man get juck down, man whap one another wid things. You know. So ih benefit we in a big way dat if somebody weh dah my cell mates would ah get hurt or drop off a wah lee epilepsy or things, cause all ah dehn things we wah learn. So I wah know how fi deal wid it until di proper help could reach.”

Miles away from the nearest medical facility and behind prison walls, inmates and officers are each others best chance of assistance in a medical emergency. Reporting for News Five, Jose Sanchez.


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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