CMI Receives Emergency Vehicles

Photo: Dave Reid Minister of Transport and Mining, Hon. Mike Henry (left), test drives one of three fire trucks donated to the Caribbean Maritime Institute (CMI) by the Government of Japan through its Grant Assistance for Grass-Roots and Human Security Project. Looking on is Ambassador of Japan to Jamaica, His Excellency Masanori Nakano. The fire trucks, along with an ambulance, were handed over during a function held at the CMI, Palisadoes Park, yesterday (August 9).

Story Highlights

  • The Caribbean Maritime Institute (CMI) has received one ambulance and three fire trucks from the Government of Japan, valued at $9.6 million (US$79,721).
  • The vehicles, which were handed over yesterday (August 9), during a ceremony held on the school’s Palisadoes Park compound, are expected to significantly boost the CMI’s capacity to respond to emergencies in Port Royal.
  • For his part, Executive Director of the CMI, Dr. Fritz Pinnock, said the donation will empower the CMI to reintroduce volunteerism through an emergency and response training programme among the communities of Port Royal, Harbour View, Bull Bay and the general East Kingston areas.

The Caribbean Maritime Institute (CMI) has received one ambulance and three fire trucks from the Government of Japan, valued at J$9.6 million (US$79,721).

Provision of the units was facilitated under Japan’s Grant Assistance for Grassroots and Human Security Project (GGP), through partnership with the Society for the Promotion of Japanese Diplomacy.

The vehicles, which were handed over yesterday (August 9), during a ceremony held on the school’s Palisadoes Park compound, are expected to significantly boost the CMI’s capacity to respond to emergencies in Port Royal.

In his remarks, Ambassador of Japan to Jamaica, His Excellency Masanori Nakano, said under the project, one fire truck and one ambulance will be assigned to the CMI location.

He also noted that one fire truck will be placed at the fire station in Port Royal and the other truck will be stationed at the Donald Quarrie High School, in Harbour View.

“The Government of Japan endorses the value of this project to the local communities, and has the highest expectation that these emergency response vehicles will boost the capacity of Kingston, St. Andrew and Port Royal to respond timely and effectively to emergency situations,” Ambassador Nakano said.

He noted that the general expectations regarding the use of the three fire trucks and ambulance are that, over time, there should be a decrease in the number of disaster-related losses.

For his part, Executive Director of the CMI, Dr. Fritz Pinnock, said the donation will empower the CMI to reintroduce volunteerism through an emergency and response training programme among the communities of Port Royal, Harbour View, Bull Bay and the general East Kingston areas.

He said that as part of its corporate social responsibility, the CMI has adopted the Port Royal and Harbour View communities in order to transform them into university towns.

“As part of this initiative, we will be providing free firefighting and emergency response training to build a cadre of volunteer emergency response teams trained and certified to international standards,” he said.

The CMI is the only certified institution by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in the Caribbean to provide firefighting and emergency medical response to all persons serving on-board ships.

Dr. Pinnock said a grant from Japan, in partnership with St. John Ambulance, Jamaica Fire Brigade, Ministry of Education, Youth and Information; Ministry of Transport and Mining and other stakeholders, will provide training and certification as well as maintain a training roster within the communities.

He added that CMI students will also be trained, certified and will maintain a 24- hour call-out service in support of the Port Royal and Harbour View communities in the first instance.

Meanwhile, Minister of Transport and Mining, Hon. Mike Henry, said it is important that Jamaica revive the spirit of volunteerism, noting that in the United States of America 69 per cent of their emergency services are volunteers, and that for Costa Rica, it is 100 per cent.

“In Jamaica 60 per cent of the people who turn up at accident scenes are not volunteers. We lack skills and competence, not in the subjects taught in our schools through the education system, but in attitude. Everybody wants to be paid for giving a helping hand,” Mr. Henry said.

The Minister said as part of the initiative to bring back volunteerism to Jamaica, the Caribbean Merchant Marine Cadet Corps has been formed at the CMI, to help improve discipline and build a marine conscience.

“These volunteers will be the first Voluntary Firefighting, Emergency and Rescue Service in Jamaica, as the CMI partners with the Jamaica Fire Service and the St. John Ambulance Service,” Mr. Henry said.

He informed that they will be trained and certified to IMO standards in first aid and firefighting.

“This volunteer programme will be integrated into various school programmes through the Cadet Corps. Over 400 of them are to be trained and certified in emergency fire and rescue services,” he added.

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