78 GWI staff undergo first responders training

(Georgetown, Tuesday, September 25, 2018)- Some 78 members of staff of the Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI) have undergone first responders training which included first aid, trauma care, and snake bite management.

Staff of the Hinterland and Sanitation departments and members of the Joint workplace Occupational Safety and Health Committee from all departments and regions were among those who participated in the training exercise. It was conducted in February and June, 2018 and facilitated by Chief of the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) of the Ministry of Public Health, Nandaram Dat.

Certified First Responders of GWI, (in the back) pose with GWI and Ministry of Public Health officials (seated) during the handing over ceremony of the first responders training.

Several of the participants of the training were presented with their certificates today, Tuesday, 25th September, 2018 at GWI’s head office, Vlissengen Road and Church Street.

Addressing the participants, Managing Director of GWI, Dr. Richard Van West-Charles stressed that the company is now focusing more heavily on the health and safety of among its staff.

He pointed out that many persons are unaware of the risks GWI’s employees face, while positing that these persons are in many ways the unsung heroes in the provision of water and sanitation services.

The Managing Director said that the first responders training is particularly important for persons working in enclosed spaces and it is pivotal that the company ensures that they are prepared to respond in a timely manner, within the boundaries of their training, to save a life.

According to him, GWI will in the near future, embark on a preventative programme for its employees, which addresses both psychosocial and mental issues.

Meanwhile, National Director of Emergency Medical Services, Dr. Zulfikar Bux, explained that the training was developed with members of the public in mind.

He stressed the need for members of the public to be trained as first responders not only in the work environment but in all emergency situations, even as Guyana works to further develop its emergency medical services.

Dr. Bux urged the staff to utilise the skills which they have learnt to be good citizens and good Samaritans, while asking that they only act within the boundaries of what they were trained.

He pointed out that the training has saved lives while commending GWI for focusing on the safety and wellbeing of its staff. The EMS Director said that he looks forward to training more GWI staff in first responding.

GWI Sanitation Engineer, Mr. Anthony Thornhill expressed his pleasure to be a part of the training, as he noted that the skills garnered have prepared him to assist not only his colleagues but also members of the public.

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