The graduates – Cameron Myrie, Michael Blackburn, Jelani Rivers McLean, Joseph Chollette, Brian Neil Dilbert and Sonja McLean Rivers – are now eligible to work as fully qualified EMTs in the Cayman Islands and Jamaica.
Their final examination was held at Faith Hospital by external examiner Delwin Ferguson, director of EMS at University of Technology, Jamaica, according to a statement from the Health Services Authority last week.
The trainees undertook additional clinical hours in the ambulance at Cayman Islands Hospital in Grand Cayman.
EMT training has been done on Cayman Brac before, Lizzette Yearwood, CEO of the Health Services Authority, told the Cayman Compass.
“We had offered EMT training in the Brac years ago,” Ms. Yearwood said. “However, the one recently offered is an updated program with more classroom and field/clinical requirements.
“The training was offered at the Faith Hospital to encourage Cayman Brac residents to take advantage of the opportunity; however, the practicals were completed in Grand Cayman to offer them more exposure.”
Ms. Yearwood added, “It is wonderful to see the Faith Hospital Team involved in providing the training to the students because it allows the staff the opportunity to exercise their training skills.”
Roy McTaggart, councilor for health, who made the opening remarks at the graduation ceremony, said offering the EMT training locally is vital to career enhancement and creates job opportunities for Caymanians in the healthcare industry. “The importance of training in a local environment has two significant outcomes,” he said. “Firstly, the trainees can complete their practical hours in an environment that they will eventually work in, being trained by professionals who have a hands-on understanding of working in Cayman and the specific skills required to work as an EMT.
“Secondly, the HSA will be able to facilitate more EMT local training initiatives by local professionals. This strategic decision will ensure that HSA opportunities are proactively made more readily available to Caymanians in the future.”
Dr. Delroy Jefferson, medical director of the Health Services Authority, said he was pleased to see the program come together, “as it provides another entry point whereby young Caymanians can access the noble career of healthcare.“
The graduates were congratulated by Dr. Srirangan Velusamy, director of the Sister Islands Health Services, who said, “We, at Faith Hospital, were excited and proud to be able to provide the opportunity for six hard-working young individuals to become emergency medical technicians. The most satisfying aspect of this journey has been using local talents and training them to an international standard of proficiency.”
The Health Services Authority is in the process of recruiting two new EMTs, Ms. Yearwood said, one on Cayman Brac and one on Grand Cayman.