NEW YORK – On Tuesday, July 16, 2019, the Team Jamaica Bickle (TJB) “Defibrillator to Schools Program,” Presentation and Training Ceremony was held at the S Hotel Jamaica located on Jimmy Cliff Blvd in Montego Bay.
Some 70 staff of High Schools in Western Jamaica were trained in Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and 20 schools were presented with Automated External Defibrillators (AEDS) and First Aid Kits.
Leading the training were Nurses, Sharon Thompson and Delores McGregor from the Jamaica Diaspora Healthcare Sector.
The training session began with a video demonstrating an emergency scenario and showed protocols to be followed when resuscitating a patient in cardiac arrest.
Small break-out groups were guided through CPR drills, including chest compression and mouth to mouth resuscitation followed immediately by the use of the defibrillator.
The engagement level was high, as each participant took turns leading or supporting the protocols in the mock interventions. The technology in the machines is user friendly so their use is fairly easy to follow (a point reiterated by the instructors).
Participants were guided by the audible step by step instructions of the New HeartSine Samaritan 350P machines.
“The training was very effective and the demonstrations were impressive. Everyone understood the importance of the equipment. At the end of the training, all the participants are comfortable with the operation the AED devices,” said Nurses McGregor & Thompson.
Participants were presented with certificates on completion as evidence of their readiness.
The morning’s presentation ceremony which preceded the training session saw a number of officials paying tribute to TJB for its work over the past 25 years hosting Caribbean athletes at the Penn Relays. Particular commendations were given for the initiation of the “Defibrillator to Schools Program,” in 2014.
His Worship, The Mayor, Councilor Homer Davis, Mayor of Montego Bay, commended TJB for its vision and compassion and for seeing a need and filling it.
Aldrick “Ali McNab,, Special Advisor, Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment, and Sports brought greetings and spoke of the value in volunteerism as demonstrated by TJB. He congratulated the organization for leading the way and making a difference in the lives of athletes.
ISSA President, Keith Wellington cited the partnership between ISSA and TJB as testimony that, “good partners and partnerships can produce great results.”
In her remarks, Cecelia Jackson, Community Relations Education Officer of Ministry of Education, Youth & Information (MOEY) thanked TJB and Grace Kennedy (which contributed five of the units) for the timely and apt donation.
“Undoubtedly the school’s Physical Departments will be more confident in engaging in their varying physical activities. Evidently those who will be trained in CPR by our experts from the Diaspora will be an asset to our educational institutions … You have made the schools that will be benefiting from these Defibrillators in Regions 3, 4 and 5 more empowered,” she said.
Other officials also in attendance from MOEY were: Anieta Bailey, Community Relations Education Officer, Region 5; Marlon Williams, Senior Education officer and Elton Johnson Education Officer, Physical Education. Grace Burnett, CEO, Group Insurance Segment, GKFG & Managing Director, GKIC and Frank James CEO, GK Foods, (Domestic) represented the Grace Kennedy Group.
The schools receiving AEDs were: Anchovy High, Black River High, Cambridge High, Grange Hill High, Irwin High, Lewisville High, Little London High, Maggotty High, Maldon High, Manchester High, Maud McLeod High, Merlene Ottey High, Munro College, Muschett High, Nain High, Newell High, Roger Clarke High, Troy High, Belmont Academy, and Knockalva High.
TJB thanks its major donors, Grace Kennedy Group, National Baptist Convention, Neville & Joan Flowers, Barbara Richards, New York Life.
Sponsors of the event were S Hotel Jamaica and Caribbean Airlines. Special thanks was extended to the National Education Trust (NET) the agency of the Government of Jamaica (GoJ) charged with mobilising financial and quality resource investments for schools in Jamaica, for its assistance in ensuring the smooth delivery of the AED units to the island.