Japan-donated emergency vehicles to train CMI students
The latest contribution to local emergency response came yesterday from the government and people of Japan in the form of three fire trucks and one ambulance. These will be utilised in training Caribbean Maritime Institute students, who will be responsible for providing volunteer services for communities in the vicinity of the institution, including Harbour View and Port Royal.
The donation, which is valued at approximately $9.6 million ($US79,721), was made possible by the Embassy of Japan in Kingston through its grass roots and human-security project. The handover ceremony was staged at the Caribbean Maritime Institute, located off the Palisadoes main road in Kingston.
Japanese Ambassador Masanori Nakano, who arrived in Jamaica just over two years ago, came with a vision to focus on providing funding assistance towards the education and training sectors, as well as to provide training in disaster prevention and mitigation.
"I am honoured to note that the Government of Japan endorses the value of this project to the local communities and has the highest expectation that these emergency-response vehicles will boost the capacity to respond timely and effectively to emergency situations," Nakano said.
Executive director of the Caribbean Maritime Institute Fritz Pinnock said that the donation would give the Caribbean Maritime Institute (which is expected to go through a name change to the Caribbean Maritime University - CMU) the power to reintroduce volunteerism through its emergency and training response programme.
"The generous donation will empower the Caribbean Maritime University to reintroduce volunteerism among the communities of Port Royal, Harbour View, Bull Bay, and the general east Kingston communities. As part of our corporate social responsibility, the CMU has adopted the Port Royal and Harbour View communities and is seeking to transform them into university towns," said Pinnock.
"As part of this initiative, we'll be providing free fire-fighting and emergency response training to build a volunteer emergency-response team, trained and certified to international standards. The CMU is currently the only institution certified by the International Maritime Organisation in the English-speaking Caribbean to provide firefighting and emergency response to persons serving on international ships."