Basseterre, St. Kitts, July 10, 2017 (SKNIS): The St. Kitts and Nevis Fire and Rescue Services (SKNFRS) has reported a steady decrease in a number of fire related incidences involving children over the past 15 years and has said the continuation of its annual Summer Safety Programme should help to maintain this trend.

While addressing participants and officials, who had gathered at the Basseterre Fire Station for an opening ceremony on Monday (July 10), Fire Sub Station Officer (FSSO), Lesroy Caines, shared that declines have been seen in a number of areas.

“Since the inception of the programme, there has been a significant decrease in fires caused by children, death of children caused by fires, false alarms done by children, death of children caused by drowning, and traffic incidents involving children,” he stated.

In addition to fire safety, the organizers team up with various partner agencies to facilitate courses in traffic safety, water safety, and disaster safety. Crime and violence prevention was also added this year. The FSSO shared that the programme, which began in 2002 with 45 participants attending three half day sessions at the Basseterre station has grown tremendously. The programme is now five half day sessions, which will run simultaneously at the stations in Basseterre, Tabernacle and Sandy Point. This follows a successful staging in Nevis from July 03 to 07, which was attended by 61 children. A total of 420 participants were registered for the July 10 to 14 sessions in St. Kitts with expectations that more will show up.

Delta Petroleum has been a major sponsor of the Summer Safety Programme for the past three years, donating $3,000 per annum. Regional General Manager, Bevis Sylvester, said his company was proud of its partnership with the SKNFRS and announced increased support.

“I would like to thank the management of the fire department for continuing this labourious task every year. … This programme [is] going for 15 years, and things are increasing every year I’m sure. I would like to increase [our support] to $4,000 per year for the next two years and to $5,000 after that (2 years) for the next five years.” Mr. Sylvester announced to much applause.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of National Security, Osmond Petty, said the SKNFRS has been a “major player” in shaping the minds of the nation’s youth to become productive citizens and encouraged them to continue community outreach activities. He expressed gratitude to the private contributors.

“I want to thank the sponsors over the years … for without sponsors, programmes like these would not be possible. It is not the government alone that should be providing financial support for these [initiatives] and so the involvement of the private sector is very critical to the continued hosting of these programmes,” Mr. Petty stated.

Several sponsors were recognized, including Delta Petroleum, Carib Supply St. Kitts-Nevis Ltd, the Development Bank of St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla National Bank, Scotia Bank, First Caribbean International Bank, St. Christopher and Nevis Social Security, National Caribbean Insurance, Caribbean Credit Card Corporation, BG Fire Works, Beaumont Park, Print-X, FND Credit Union, Caribbean Cinema, and RAMS Group of Companies. ZIZ Radio and Television, Winn FM and the St. Kitts and Nevis Information Service (SKNIS) were also thanked.