On Monday January 11th, 2016 11 participants of the Caribbean Netherlands Fire Department (BKCN) started the commanders’ training. It regards 1 participant from Saba, 3 participants from Statia and 7 participants from Bonaire. The commanders’ training is an intensive training for people who manage the crew of the single spout fire truck and corresponding specialist vehicles. The commanding officer manages the first fire truck that comes on the scene of a fire incident. Participants in the training have undergone an extensive selection procedure including a tough assessment.
The training will last 9 months and is organized by BKCN instructors led by Julius Melaan with the assistance of the fire training institution ‘ BOGO ‘ from The Netherlands. The participants will learn how to, under pressure, lead their unit during all types of incidents assess dangers arising from incidents and make the right choices during the incident control, which may vary per situation. Part of the training will include practical training weeks at a training center in Germany, a number of training days at the fire training center of the Royal Air Force in Woensdrecht (The Netherlands) and a practical examination on St Maarten. Directly after this training follows training for airport firefighting aircraft commanders. If both trainings are successfully completed the participant is then entitled to function as commander at BKCN.
The training is made possible by the Corps administrator of BKCN and is in line with the high demands placed on a professional fire department. In 2012, all instructors of BKCN were educated, whereby the professional and didactic knowledge within the Corps is guaranteed. Additionally, in 2013/2014, the crew was trained or followed refresher courses. In 2014/2015 the officers have obtained the professional OvD diploma and it is now the turn of the commanders.