Twelve officers of the Mauritius Fire and Rescue Service (MFRS) are being trained on first aid by two experts of the Departmental Fire and Rescue Service of Reunion Island. The initiative is a joint collaboration of the Ministry of Local Government and Outer Islands and the Embassy of France in Mauritius.

The Vice-Prime Minister, Minister of Local Government and Outer Islands and Minister of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare, Mrs FazilaJeewa-Daureeawoo, and the French Ambassador to Mauritius, Mr Emmanuel Cohet, paid a visit to the trainees yesterday, to take stock of the activities being carried out, at the Coromandel Fire Station.

The training programme was held from the 17 to 24 September 2018 and aimed at training trainers in providing first aid in teams. The twelve trainees equipped with the knowledge and skills will in turn dispense training to other officers.

In a statement, the Vice-Prime Minister expressed gratitude to the French Embassy for undertaking this capacity-building endeavour, adding that there is an on-going collaboration between the two countries since the last few years. She underlined that offering training to the MFRS officers is a key governmental priority as they have the important responsibility of ensuring the safety of the population and protecting and reducing the losses of life and property from dangers of fire and other emergency threats.

According to her, in the wake of climate change, the role of fire-fighters has evolved and they are now called upon to carry out additional tasks such as intervening in situations of natural disasters. She added that the officers of the MFRS have demonstrated courage and determination in handling emergency situations during flash floods that hit the country at the beginning of the year. On that score, she reiterated the commitment of Government to provide the necessary training and capacity-building to uplift their capacities to effectively carry out their tasks, for which a sum of Rs 3 million has been allocated in Budget 2018-2019.

Vice-Prime Minister Jeewa-Daureeawoo further pointed out that it is essential for the fire fighters to be versatile and acquire skills and increase their knowhow to improve service delivery. She recalled that several specialised units such as the aerial Fire Fighting and Rescue Unit, the Swift Water Rescue Unit and the Hazardous Material Response Unithave been set up to cater for the safety of the population and to ensure that communities and the environment are as safe as possible.

Source: Government of Mauritius