On January 28th, the Caribbean Netherlands Fire Department (BKCN) started with the training of 12 new colleagues; 3 from Saba, 2 from St. Eustatius and 7 from Bonaire. The participants will be trained for Fireman-A. They will learn about fire control, technical aid and accidents involving dangerous substances. Additionally in November the training for airplane airport firefighting must be successfully completed after which the new colleagues can be used within BKCN.
The training no longer uses books but takes place through the electronic learning environment (ELO). The theory is learned via the computer and internet on the basis of films, animations, short texts, spoken stories and quizzes to check if the content is understood. During practice sessions the theory is translated to practice through blended learning. Many different forms of work are applied to prepare the participants as well as possible to combat a real fire. Also, participants independently execute assignments to better understand the profession of fireman and the organization. Per component progress interviews and intermediate tests are held to monitor the progress of participants, the modules are concluded with a practical exam.
The training is provided by in house BCN instructors led by Julius Melaan, head of training department at BKCN. BKCN is supported from a distance by the fire department training institution BOGO in The Netherlands. For the medical components there is support from Fundashon Mariadal and during the exams from St. Maarten Fire Department.
In addition to the technical and substantive part of the training, time is also spent on sports and swimming skills. The participants also undergo a medical examination, an intensive fire-oriented sports test and should have their swimming certificate in order to ultimately be able to work at BKCN.
The in-service training and training require a great deal from BKCN and its employees. However, due to these investments BKCN remains up to date with the training of firefighters and remains affiliated training developments of the fire brigade in The Netherlands. Well trained fire personnel contribute to the safety of the residents of Caribbean Netherlands and that is ultimately what BKCN strives for.