Basseterre, St. Kitts, July 19, 2019 (SKNIS): Approximately 450 children in St. Kitts and Nevis graduated from the 17th Annual Summer Safety Programme on Friday, July 19, 2019 bringing an end to the five-day programme that teaches fire safety and other areas of safety to 5 to 12-year-old.
The closing ceremony was held at the Basseterre Fire Station, which also served as the main venue for sessions with children from the area and surrounding communities. The programme was also held simultaneously at the Edgar T. Morris Primary School in Tabernacle, and the primary school in Sandy Point for children in the rural areas. Participants in Nevis attended the programme one week earlier at the Jessups Community Centre.
Divisional Fire Officer Garfield Hodge said that this year’s programme has been “a huge success” based on reports from various stations. He encouraged the children to be active junior fire officers by sharing what they learnt with others.
“I urge you to go back to your homes, your schools, and your respective communities and prevent fires and save lives by imparting to your friends and families the life saving techniques and skills that you have learnt over the past week,” he said.
Osmond Petty, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of National Security, said that the Summer Safety Programme has been a useful tool for promoting responsible behaviour among children. He noted that the number of fires started by children has been drastically reduced with no reports recorded over the past seven years.
The permanent secretary also applauded the inclusion of other topics such as disaster preparedness as well as crime and violence prevention stating that safety is all encompassing.
“Safety is not just a one-sided affair,” Mr. Petty stated. “You can be safe by your efforts in your home by not lighting fires. You can be safe by crossing the street and taking appropriate care but if during the passage of a hurricane you do not obey your parents, you do not obey the personnel from NEMA who give directions then your safety is not complete. … If you associate with wrong people during your normal day and you do not pay attention to issues that involve reducing crime in our communities then your safety is not complete.”
Mr. Petty said that he was proud to say that the Summer Safety Programme is the total package in promoting safety in homes, schools, communities, wherever people are.
The theme of this year’s programme was “Building a Safer Tomorrow by Preparing Our Children Today.”