St. Lucian officers trained to handle chemical warfare agents

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St. Lucian officers trained to handle chemical warfare agents
Police Officer Kervin Raymond (r).
Police Officer Kervin Raymond (r).

PRESS RELEASE – St Lucia has been placed in a strong position to handle a Chemical attack, after St Lucia Police and Fire Officers completed extensive training in South America this week.

Police Officer Kervin Raymond and Fire Officer David Antoine both completed a three phase advanced training program in handling Chemical Warfare Agents and Incidents involving Toxic Industrial Chemicals, in Colombia on the 8th April 2016.

The training which was officially labeled “The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (O.P.C.W) Basic, Advance and Final Exercise Training Course” was held in Brazil (23-27 March 2015), Argentina (20-25 April 2015) and Colombia (4-8 April 2016).

The course which was very intensive and consisted of grueling practical exercise and simulations, was co-organized by the Technical Secretariat of the OPCW and the Brazilian National Authority to the CWC at the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation.

There was also close coordination with the Brazilian Ministry of Defense, The Argentine National Authority to the Chemical Weapons Convention, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, with the support of the Ministry of Security, namely the Cadet School of the Federal Police and the Government of Colombia with direct engagement of the National Directorate of Fire-fighters of Colombia (DNBC), and the Colombian National Police.

Through different field exercises of growing complexity, the officers reaffirmed and consolidated acquired knowledge and skills in the use of individual protective equipment, reconnaissance, detection, sampling, decontamination and response to attacks with chemical warfare agents or incidents involving toxic industrial chemicals.  The course also provided extensive training in the practice of the incident command system approach.

As a result of this training, a new reference team of 30 first responders from 15 States Parties from the GRULAC region will contribute to the strengthening of their response capabilities through their assimilation into the national response teams, spreading the obtained knowledge and skills nationally and regionally, and through their integration into the growing regional network of OPCW trainees under the umbrella of Article X of the Chemical Weapons Convention.

The training also built on the continuous discussion and exchange of information and experiences that contributed to the strengthening of the team spirit of this new group of trainees. Contingency planning issues were addressed by means of a table-top exercise.

Training of this nature is important as the imminent threat of Chemical Weapons to cause mass casualties by Terrorist is a present danger. Chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) weapons attacks constitute a sizeable portion of terrorism risk. This risk has become a growing concern as there is evidence that the insecurity in the Middle East has emboldened terrorists’ groups to acquire and develop such weapons.

The participants of the training came from Argentina, Barbados, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama, Peru and Saint Lucia. The officers have both expressed high level of satisfaction with the training and an even higher level of confidence as they look forward to their new roles in the respective organizations.

Fire Officer David Antoine (r)
Fire Officer David Antoine (r)
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9 COMMENTS

  1. Really furious. You don't even know what u are talking about. The guy is a gazetted officer at the maintenance department not operational section. You really don't know what you are saying. Am not against ppl receiving training just that if its being dome take someone from the right section to go do it. Will he be taken from mantainence and sent on the shifts or be kept at mantainence. Now tell me where in mantainence will that training kick in. And in mantainence am referring to fixing emergency vehicles when they break down.

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  2. The reason this is almost laughable to most is that while local police are not even equipped to handle the most basic of investigations such as rape, we find it fitting that they should undergo training in chemical weapons. This is a clear case of misdirected focus, where the immediate needs or concerns of the citizenry is not addressed but energies are wasted on events why may never occur. What if our Fire Service was trained continuously in tsunami emergency operations rather than local fire emergencies, would you find that funny or even counter-productive?

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  3. Because St. Lucia has never experienced a chemical attack/event, does not translate that it will never happen. Strange way to think. This is only one preparedness of many. Congrats to the guys.

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  4. Why would a fire officer who works at maintenance in the department be sent on such training. Why didn't someone from operational sent?

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    • why in gods name don't you do your research before you start misleading the public. The officer does not work at maintenance. He is actually best suited for that training because he is in charge of administration within the department and can put resources in place to see to it that what he learnt can be passed on to the operational staff.

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  5. Congratulations to both officers very well done. Guys don't want to take the lime light away from your achievements.

    However are any officers trained in dealing with Rape cases???

    Can someone please educate me as to when was the last time St Lucia was under a "Chemical Weapons" attack!

    Again congratulations to officers David Antoine and Kervin Raymond very well done.

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