JAHJAH, Negril Chamber partner to set up EMS centre

BY ANTHONY LEWIS
Observer writer

Thursday, September 12, 2019

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NEGRIL, Westmoreland — Efforts are currently been made to have an Emergency Medical Service (EMS) centre established in the resort town of Negril by year-end.

The vision is that of an overseas charitable services organisation named Jamaicans Abroad Helping Jamaicans At Home (JAHJAH) foundation's founder, Dr Trevor Dixon, who is of Jamaican heritage.

The project which entails the training of 25 paramedics and the establishment of the centre in the town, is being finalised through a partnership formed with the Negril Chamber of Commerce (NCC).

Brian Wallace, the NCC president, has given a building at his Boardwalk Shopping Village to house the centre. The facility will be equipped with two ambulances — one in the initial stage — and the necessary first aid tools.

The service is expected to be up and running before the end of December, after the building is refurbished, and the donation of an ambulance by the foundation.

Elaine Allen Bradley, NCC board director, said the aim of the foundation is to support the EMS and the fire service in Negril.

According to Allen Bradley, who is a retired nurse, the participants in the training programme will be certified at the end of the three- week programme, which started last week Wednesday at the Western Hospitality Institute, in West End Negril.

“So the whole idea of what they (foundation) want to do is to support the fire service and the emergency service that is already existing or non-existing in Negril….. really Jamaica, but they are starting this pilot project in Negril.

“So they went out and ask if anybody would like to be trained as a first responder and the response was very good. Hence, we have these people who have come on board and are being trained,” she explained.

One of the trainees, St James resident, Jeorjianna Fenton, said the course exceeded her expectations.

“This course really exceeded my expectations because hearing about CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation), you were just thinking about first aid, but it is more in-depth, educational, very informative, and you learn a lot. And, it is not just to go out three in the ambulance and helping other people, but at home, anywhere,” she expressed.

Nicholas Williams, a trainee from Westmoreland, who is a District Constable assigned to the Jamaica Constabulary Force, said the course will assist him with his present job.

“It is really helpful towards our day to day job, because we go on a lot of accident scenes, stabbing, wounding and all of that. So, it is really helpful,” said Williams.

The crop of trainees is made up of students who are currently working in the hotel industry, firefighters, among other fields.

Several people who were interested in pursuing the training were unsuccessful due to a lack of space.

“So, it is a big mix of students and it is a challenge to try and meet everybody's need…..,” said Adin Pellow, one of four instructors from Israel, who is a trained paramedic.

He stressed that it is a wonderful experience being in Jamaica for the first time to impart and share his knowledge.

“It is my first time in Jamaica. Never been in this part of the world before…. it is really nice. Everybody is really welcoming. Everybody is happy that we are here. When we told the local people what we are doing they are more than happy to help us with whatever we need and it has been a lot of fun. It is a great opportunity for us who have a lot of experience back home. Coming abroad and helping the community set up this kind of service is really important and inspiring and it makes us feel really great that we were able to do it,” he expressed.

Other partners who have contributed to the project include the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo), the Negril Fire Station, Sweetwater, Western Hospitality Institute, Skylark, Rockhouse, Rayon Hotel, Ricks Cafe, Catcha Falling Star, Boardwalk Village, Mathew's Restaurant, Pushcart and Travellers Resort.


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