New fire marshals at hospital

Forty-four Health Services Authority staffers have trained to be fire marshals who will be responsible for evacuations and fire safety checks at the Cayman Islands Hospital.

The staff members received their training certificates Monday.

According to a press release from the HSA, the main focus of its new Fire Marshal Training Program, which started Aug. 22, is to have well-trained people in the right place at the right time.

“In previous years when we had a smaller staff complement, the Cayman Islands Fire Department provided training for our staff, however, as the HSA has continued to grow we recognized that we needed to bring this training in house,” Director of Corporate Services Andria Dilbert said in the release.

Last year, two HSA staff members, Occupational Health and Safety Officer Debra Gaffigan and paramedic David “Jayse” Wilson completed their training in London and are now facilitators of two accredited courses being offered at the HSA – the Basic Fire Safety and the Fire Marshal courses. The basic course, which 500 HSA staffers have undertaken, is a prerequisite for fire marshal training.

“Providing fire training in-house has proved very beneficial; a couple of benefits being the ability to have more flexibility in scheduling the sessions, which is essential in a 24-hour organization such as ours, and the opportunity to incorporate our Fire Plan into the sessions, so that individually we remain aware of fire prevention in our working environments,” said Ms. Dilbert.

Fire Inspector Brevon Elliott, speaking at Monday’s presentation ceremony, said having fire marshals at the hospital makes firefighters’ jobs easier and the hospital a safer place.

“We are glad to see that the hospital has taken it upon themselves to roll out a system in-house that will not only educate you but give you the tools to be aware and knowledgeable of how to evacuate the hospital in the event of an emergency, specifically a fire emergency,” he told the newly trained fire marshals.

The fire marshals will carry out daily and monthly fire safety assessments of their working environment, including checking emergency lighting, fire extinguishers and fire doors, and report their findings to the Health and Safety Office. They will also be expected to take charge in a fire situation, performing a sweep of the premises to ensure that everyone is evacuated and completing a headcount at assembly points.

“Having capable and dedicated people as fire marshals gives me peace of mind in knowing that even though I cannot be everywhere, I have others that can be. Before this program, I only had one set of eyes and ears, I now have 45,” said Occupational Health and Safety Officer Ms. Gaffigan. “Thanks to their efforts, the HSA is a safer place for our employees, patients and visitors.

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