The Barbados Fire Service (BFS) is seeking to roll out a suite of new training initiatives to enhance the skills set of officers, and position the organisation to respond to new and emerging challenges.
Chief Fire Officer, Errol Maynard, disclosed some of those plans as he addressed the closing ceremony of the Barbados Fire Academy Auxiliary Fire Officers’ Recruit Course #39 at the Samuel Jackman Prescod Institute of Technology, yesterday.
“I congratulate you for making it to the end of your initial training and the beginning of a professional journey. It is not the end of training because I can assure you that training is ongoing in the Barbados Fire Service. As we evolve as a department, as the environment changes, your training will be upgraded to meet the needs of the industry, the environment, and the demands of the society,” he pointed out.
Among the initiatives is the launch of an electronic registry database to allow applicants to register for programmes with little or no human contact, from as early as next year.
Mr. Maynard added that over the last year, and during the pandemic, the BFS’ training programmes for positions such as Fire Officer I, II, and III, commonly known as Crew Manager, Watch Manager and Station Manager, were accredited by the Barbados Community College.
In addition, he noted that the department was able to have a fee structure approved by Cabinet, allowing them to recover the costs of courses delivered locally and regionally.
“That means that when a candidate completes any of the noted courses at the Barbados Fire Academy, they will also receive a Barbados Community College certification with college credits towards an Associate Degree in Fire Science, a programme that is currently being developed between the Barbados Fire Academy and the Barbados Community College,” he explained.
Mr. Maynard added that at the same time, the BFS was working in collaboration with SOL Barbados to develop propane gas props.
“This will allow us to deliver meaningful training without the burning of diesel and gasoline, which are more detrimental to the environment than the cleaner burn by using propane,” he said.
However, Mr. Maynard gave the assurance that as the BFS continues to diversify its product offering, it would incorporate the new initiatives to provide a service that was “second to none”, and one that made them the “provider of choice”.