BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, August 15, 2023 (SKNIS) – Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) at the Joseph N. France General Hospital have successfully completed training in the administration of pre-hospital emergency care and are now equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills to address critical emergencies.
The Pre-Hospital Emergency Care Training Course was facilitated by Mr. Matthew Rolph, a former paramedic from the United Kingdom and founder of EMS International. It formed part of the Ministry of Health’s overarching goal of providing continuous training opportunities for all levels of staff within the ministry to ensure the delivery of the highest standard of care in St. Kitts and Nevis.
While delivering brief remarks at the closing ceremony on Tuesday, August 15, 2023, Mr. Rolph praised the local EMTs for their dedication and commitment to the five-day course that covered the fundamentals of pre-hospital emergency care.
He said, “It was a pretty intense overview of what glues pre-hospital emergency care together. We looked at the primary survey; we looked at the elements within the primary survey and how we can find and fix things in order of priority to make sure that we do the best for our patients. We also looked at some medical conditions that you are likely to come across and we also looked at some new bits of care that you might be using. It was a lot of information to take in in a very short space of time, and I have to say that you all did amazingly well.”
In extending his own commendations to the successful course participants, Prime Minister and Minister of Health, the Honourable Dr. Terrance Drew stated that the Emergency Medical Services is an integral part of the overall healthcare apparatus in St. Kitts and Nevis, as the services provided at this early stage of intervention often determine patients’ outcomes.
“We want this service to become a fully recognized service, not a by-the-way service. We want EMTs to be recognized as the professionals that you are. The nurses are recognized as professionals; the doctors are recognized as professionals and you should also be recognized as professionals,” Prime Minister Dr. Drew said.
The prime minister added, “You, in your own profession as an EMT, you want that professional growth. You want that when you show up no one questions you; you want that when you show up you can stand confidently because you have been through the necessary training and you have garnered the necessary knowledge and therefore you demand respect based on those two critical things, and therefore I think we are on our way to that.”
Dr. Drew assured the EMTs that his government will continue to make the necessary opportunities available to them as the goal is to elevate the local EMS staff to the level of paramedics.
Tuesday’s closing and certificate presentation ceremony was also attended by Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Sharon Archibald; Director of Health Institutions, Dr. Jenson Morton; General Surgeon with responsibility for EMS Services, Dr. Joylette Woodley-Fassale; and Advisor Mr. Curtis Martin.
The Ministry of Health, under the leadership of Prime Minister Dr. Drew, has made significant investments in the health sector, through the provision of training opportunities.
In recent months, the ministry has facilitated training for nurses and hospital personnel in the areas of management, neonatal care, customer service, medical terminology, as well as hemodialysis.