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School Safety workshop ends successfully


A school safety workshop spearhead by the National Emergency Management Office (NEMO), the Ministry of Education and USAID Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) concluded on Thursday, March 8, 2012.{{more}} The highlight of the workshop was a fire drill at the St Mary’s R.C. School. Prior to the fire drill, approximately 30 teachers participated in three days of training workshop at the NEMO headquarters. The workshop focused on Risk Management, available resources in various schools, emergency simulations and drills.

The objective of the fire drill was to teach the pupils of the St Mary’s R.C. School how to respond if or when a fire occurs. The teachers on site were there to observe and assess the evacuation process, and to make recommendations.

The school safety workshop was facilitated by USAID OFDA Consultant Cecil Shillingford, who is responsible for Dominica, St Vincent and the Grenadines, and Antigua. Shillingford said that the exercise was a success, although he had expected the evacuation process to last for five minutes, but it was done in one minute and thirty seconds. Shillingford said the objective of the workshop was to train teachers to continue with the school safety programme.

Teacher at the Kingstown Preparatory School Deborah Liverpool said the drill was timely and reiterated the need for all schools to have disaster drills and evacuation plans. Based on her observations of the fire drill, Liverpool added that a disaster may result in serious injury and even casualties among students.