SIMPSON BAY--SXM Airport's Rescue and Firefighting (RFF) Department will be kicking off its Fireman's Week with a series of activities starting today, Monday, July 21, until Sunday, July 27. The department will also be celebrating its nineteenth year on July 25.
Starting with the hoisting of the flag in front of the Terminal Building followed by a march with a drum band on Monday morning, the Fireman's Week will also feature a free glucose and blood pressure testing for all airport users. This will be held on Monday, July 21, and Thursday, July 24, and will run from 8:30am to 4:30pm. The booth will be manned by RFF personnel who are also certified Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs), and they will be administering the testing with equipment from the airport's RFF Department.
Children from Busybody Play School will be treated to a tour of the Terminal Building, after which RFF personnel will take the children on a tour of the RFF facility. Following the tour, the fire fighters will offer the children a special BBQ at the fire station.
Physical fitness is a requirement for fire fighters and to "test" their level of fitness, there will be a Fireman's Obstacle Course. The fire fighters will be competing amongst themselves to see who can complete the obstacle course in the best time. Following the friendly competition, there will be a breakfast for staff and the airport community.
The week will close off with perhaps the most anticipated activity: the Fireman's Certification and Ranking Ceremony at which the fire fighters will receive their insignia, as the airport RFF officially transitions from the Dutch to the American ranking system. All fire fighters who recently completed a 14-week training course, including four weeks of practical training and examinations in Canada, will receive their official Pro-Board seal certificates.
It will be recalled that a group of six fire fighters returned a few weeks ago from Canada, after successfully completing the National Fire Protection Association 1001 Fire Fighter levels 1 and 2 course. It is the third group to undergo such training, bringing the total of trained staff so far to 18.
According to Manager Penijn of the airport's RFF, more training courses are planned for the staff in order to further equip them to discharge their responsibilities professionally.
"We have been sending groups of six and this is our third group," he said, adding that new recruits as well as senior officers are given the opportunity to undergo training. "This allows the airport to have certified and well-trained firemen. It is also important for growth possibilities within the department for the individual firemen," Penijn said.