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Fire officers’ skills tested

Traffic in and around Bridgetown came to a standstill this morning as the Barbados Fire Service (BFS) held a simulation exercise in Heroes Square.

Curious onlookers took up every vantage point to watch the fire officers and other emergency personnel rescue victims of two serious car accidents.

This car caught afire during the simulated accident.

This car caught afire during the simulated accident.

Fire officials carrying out a ‘rescue’.

Fire officials carrying out a ‘rescue’.

Emergency personnel going through the exercise.

Emergency personnel going through the exercise.

Chief Fire Officer Errol Maynard told the media the simulation, which lasted for about an hour, was part of the officers’ training.

Fire Chief Errol Maynard in discussion with Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite.

Fire Chief Errol Maynard in discussion with Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite.

The exercise was originally scheduled for the end of September to coincide with Fire Service Week, but was postponed due to the passage of Tropical Storm Matthew.

“I’m happy with the exercise this morning. What we sought to do was to test the skills of all our officers from all units to see that they could use equipment in real-life circumstances,” Maynard said.

Minister of Home Affairs Adriel Brathwaite, who witnessed the simulation, was pleased with how swiftly the teams moved into action.

“I know there are some sections of the public that will be saying that we had the streets closed off, but we must have these exercises from time to time so if we have events we can save lives,” Brathwaite said.

He stressed that in order for personnel at the BFS to continue to be on top of things, training exercises were necessary.

Meantime, Maynard said the BFS was attracting applications from people interested in joining the service.

“We currently have a few vacancies and we are in the process of filling them . . . . We are going through a process of elimination so we can find the ideal persons for this job,” he said.

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