An Associate Degree in Fire Science for members of the Barbados Fire Service is on the cards.

This is according to Principal of the Barbados Community College (BCC), Dr. Gladstone Best, who said plans were well under way for an Associate Degree programme specifically aimed at fire fighters here, and eventually across the region.?? He expressed the hope that this would come to fruition by September 2012.??????????????

Disclosing that much of the courses being offered now were not up to the required standard of an Associate Degree, the Principal pointed out that the Fire Service had been in discussion with the College for some time "to get a programme up and running".

Dr. Best was speaking today at the BCC to more than 50 fire fighters, who are currently participating in a series of high-rise fire and hazardous material training. The three-week course, which is a collaborative effort between the BCC and the Florida- based Hillsborough Community College, aims to provide the firemen with the skills to effectively manage a fire in any residential or high-rise building.

Noting that this type of teaching was the first of its kind in Barbados, Division Officer, Tyrone Trotman, who spoke on behalf of the Chief Fire Officer, told those gathered that training and retraining were important tools for efficiency and effectiveness within the Fire Service.

"We recognise that land space for housing stock is actually exhausted, and architects and contractors have sought a new dimension in that instead of constructing outwards they are going upwards, and this means multi-storeys.?? This will bring along some challenges with it, in that persons will be occupying these types of buildings. For us [the fire department] it means that we have to provide safety, that is why the administration in collaboration with the Hillsborough Community College and the BCC sought the opportunity to necessitate such training," he stressed.??

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