A number of staffers attached to the Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI) are not trained to administer Emergency Medical Services [EMS]. This development comes through the water company’s collaboration with the Ministry of Public Health.

In this regard 78 staffers underwent 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.

Training sessions were conducted in February and June, 2018 and were facilitated by Chief of the EMS of the Ministry of Public Health, Mr. Nandaram Dat.

Several of the participants of the training were presented with certificates of completion at the GWI’s head office at Vlissengen Road and Church Street, Georgetown.

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 those working in enclosed spaces. For this reason he said that it was pivotal that the company ensured that they are prepared to respond in a timely manner, within the boundaries of their training, to save a life.

He said too that GWI will, in the near future, embark on a preventative programme for its employees to address 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 trained staffers to utilise the skills they have learnt to be good citizens and good Samaritans, while asking that they only act within the boundaries of what they were trained.


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