Acting Police Commissioner Henry Greene yesterday said the force is ensuring that traffic police, usually the first responders to road accidents, receive first aid training.
Delivering the closing remarks at the finals of the Force First Aid Competition at the Tactical Services Unit Drill Square, at Eve Leary, Greene emphasised the importance of first aid to police operations and the need for all members of the force to be continuously trained. According to Greene, first aid is a key to police operations and is something that should never be neglected. “…As the first responder we can take action as quickly as possibly, more or less saving lives by ensuring that persons injured can be treated as quickly as possible,” he explained.
Although he noted that all ranks are exposed to first aid training at the police training college, Greene stressed, “We will be ensuring that ranks that are based on the road will be given courses in first aid.” He recalled that when he joined the force every rank was trained in first aid and upon completion each was given a badge. That training programme was conducted through the Guyana Red Cross Society (GRCS) but it no longer exists.
When asked if he would want to reinstitute it, Greene revealed that he had held talks with GRCS, which now has a very extensive programme. Despite this, he said, all ranks are given some first aid training while in college and the competition serves as a refresher. He congratulated the organisers for maintaining the tradition and charged them to continue pushing it in the right direction.
The competition began several months ago with 15 teams assembled from the different divisions across the country. After eliminations four were chosen to compete at yesterday’s finals for the Smellie Cup. In the end, ‘B’ Division walked away with the cup, while Immigration came in second and Tactical Services Unit ‘B’ team and Tactical Services Unit ‘A’ team came in third and fourth, respectively.
Greene said he was often amazed that the traffic ranks, usually first at the scene of accidents, never seemed to end up in the first aid competition. He said: “Even though they are often first on scenes and often the first to render assistance for some reason they never seem to have been able to pull a team together or happen to be featured in any first aid competition.” In contrast, he noted that members of the Immigration Department, though they have little or nothing to do with first aid, have managed to fit themselves well into the competition.
The teams put their skills and knowledge to the test but in the end defending champions, `B’ Division (Berbice), were declared the winners. The four-man squad outdid its opponents with intelligent and confident answers, but it was the care and attention to the need of the ‘accident victim’ that sealed the win for ‘B’ Division. The teams, after being asked individual questions, on terms and situations in first aid were tasked to render assistance in a practical simulation where a man sustained multiple injuries after losing control of his car when he attempted to swerve from a cow.
In addition to the cup, each member of the winning team received a replica of the Smellie cup and a $20,000 incentive. Members of the second, third and fourth place teams received trophies and $15, 000, 10, 000 and $5000.
Lance Corporal Fraser of ‘B’ Division copped the best First Aider title with his sharp responses to the judges’ questions.
As captain, he ensured that he led his team to victory. Leading the way with the most wins thus far is the Austin Felix Training Centre with 13 followed by `B’ Division with nine. A sizeable crowd turned out yesterday to support their favourite teams and applauded the efforts of all the ranks.