Basseterre, St. Kitts, July 16, 2018 (SKNIS): The 16th Annual Summer Safety Programme organized by the St. Kitts and Nevis Fire and Rescue Services (SKNFRS) got off to an excellent start on Monday (July 16) with hundreds of children eager to make new friends and learn safety practices that they can apply in their daily lives.


The camp runs from July 16 to 20, 2018, and caters to 300 children between the ages of five to 12 years. It will be held simultaneously at the Basseterre Fire Station, Edgar T. Morris Primary School in Tabernacle, and Sandy Point Primary School. Chief Fire Officer, Everette O’Garro; Delta Petroleum’s Regional Manager, Bevis Sylvester; Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of National Security, Osmond Petty; and Prime Minister, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, attended the opening ceremony in Basseterre.


Fire Sub Station Officer, Rommel Williams, welcomed the dignitaries and the children to the opening and said that the department was pleased to host the camp again this year. He encouraged the students to have fun and to be sure that they pay attention to the tips that will be shared over the next five days.


Mr. Sylvester got the fun rolling early by announcing that each child will receive a voucher for $15 that can be used to purchase any product from Delta Petroleum. Two trivia questions also saw cash prizes of $200 and $500 presented to Solanah Wilkinson, 7, from the Seventh Day Adventist Primary School and Desanique Bloyce, 9, from the Maurice Hillier Memorial School respectively. The funds must be used to purchase books.


“Delta Petroleum continues to pride ourselves and to boast that we can be a part of any community in which we serve,” the regional manager said. “We believe that if we invest in our youth that the future of any society in which we operate is safe.”


Prime Minister Harris saluted Delta Petroleum for accepting its corporate social responsibility by contributing to the summer camp. Delta Petroleum has been onboard for three years and donated $5,000 this year – the highest yet – to offset some of the costs associated with hosting the programme. The donation makes them the primary private sponsor.


Dr. Harris commended the organizers of the annual programme – which includes the team in Nevis, who successfully hosted the summer programme for about 100 children during July 09 and 13. The model, he explained, of hosting camps in Nevis, Basseterre, Tabernacle and Sandy Point, provides “geographic accessibility”, which makes it conducive for the children to learn in a familiar environment.


The students were encouraged to learn all that they can from the 20 instructors as they explore fire safety, water safety, traffic safety, disaster preparedness and the dangers of crime and violence. Most importantly, they were urged to pass on the knowledge to their peers. Prime Minister Harris also applauded the parents, who attended the camp opening, and encouraged them to continue the conversation with the children in the days, weeks and months to follow.


“Such proactive and preventative actions require the support and reinforcement from parents and guardians,” he said. “I want to encourage adults to initiate safety discussions at the dinner table, in the car, during family gatherings in order to avoid being caught off guard in an emergency. You should also review with your family, the fastest way to get out of your home in the event of an emergency and all of you should get out of the house quickly but safely and meet up at some pre-arranged meeting spot outdoors.” 


The theme for the 16th Annual Summer Programme is “Protecting the Future of Our Federation through Fire Safety Awareness.”