Philipsburg – Fire Officers, Ambulance Officers and Police Officers took part in a joined leadership training for middle and senior management officers from February 28 to March 4 at the Government Administration Building. The leadership training for middle management and upcoming leaders within the emergency services is called JOLA, short for Junior Officer Leadership Academy. The training for the senior management is SOLA (Senior Officer Leadership Academy). This leadership training was organized through cooperation between the Fire Department, Ambulance Department and the Caribbean Association of Fire Chiefs (CAFC).
The theme of the JOLA and SOLA trainings was “21st Century Emergency Service Leadership” and contained sessions on:
- Leadership Philosophies like servant leadership and transformational leadership.
- Understanding emotional intelligence.
- Conflict Resolution.
- Understanding the importance of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at the workplace.
The training included a week of classes with group activities, individual assignments and role playing. Participants got to improve their knowledge on management and leadership, exchange experience and their network and at the end participants received a certificate of participation.
Both JOLA and SOLA trainings were provided by the instructors Reginald Freeman and Dr. Kwame Cooper, who are experienced in providing these trainings within the Caribbean since 2008 at the Caribbean Association of Fire Chiefs. Reginald D. Freeman is the CAFC Training Director and the Fire Chief of Oakland, CA. Dr. Kwame Cooper is a retired Deputy Fire Chief with over 38 years of experience in the Los Angeles, CA, Fire Department and Community Safety education.
The course is organized by the Fire Department and Ambulance Service and is geared to lifelong learning and continuous growth and leadership within the emergency services. Participants are leading officers from emergency services ranging from the Sint Maarten Government Fire Department, the Ambulance, the Police Department, the Airport Fire and Rescue and Fire officers of the Fire Department of Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba.
The candidates and management of the Fire Department, Ambulance and the Police, were very impressed and satisfied with the training. The instructors also expressed their gratitude to the government of Sint Maarten, for granting them the possibility to provide this training, which will result in a higher level of functioning of the organization.