275 Youths Complete Emergency Management Training Programme


Two hundred and seventy-five young persons, drawn from several parishes, have completed a four-week training programme in emergency management and mitigation at the National Youth Service (NYS) training site, Chestervale Campus, St. Andrew.
Packages and awards were presented to the graduates at a closing ceremony held Wednesday June 17 at the training site. Guest speaker was His Worship the Mayor of Kingston and St. Andrew, Councillor Desmond McKenzie.
The programme was organised by the NYS in collaboration with the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) and other stakeholders, including the Jamaica Red Cross, the Jamaica Fire Brigade, the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) and the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF).
Speaking at the graduation ceremony, Programme Director of the NYS, Howard Gardener, said that since the programme began four years ago, some 1,200 persons have been trained by the NYS.
“Since 2006, the NYS has trained more than 1,200 individuals from vulnerable communities in the island that are out there and ready to be engaged in terms of disaster mitigation and disaster management,” he said.
He said that participants would be attached to disaster committees in their respective parishes for a period of six months, during which time they would receive a stipend from the NYS.
Additionally, he said, participants would be provided with further “enrichment training courses” and attend disaster training workshops organised by the ODPEM.
Mr. Gardener, who represented the Executive Director of the NYS, Rev. Adinhair Jones, called on the graduates to share their knowledge with their communities.
He also urged them to continue to serve their communities after their placement period.
“You will be on call to the parish disaster mechanisms and ODPEM, in the case of disasters or impending disaster. When your sojourn would have ended at the National Youth Service programme, we still expect you to be mindful of the mandate of the programme, that your training is giving to you so that you can impart the skills in your communities,” he said.
Participant Andre Shagoury said the training has helped him to be more disciplined and has taught him the value of hard work, dedication and team work.
“I am better equipped to deal with any emergency situation. The fire service came in, and we did fire drills and learned to effectively deal with a fire and steps that can be taken to prevent a fire. Also, in case of an accident we are equipped to administer first-aid treatment,” he said in an interview with JIS News.

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