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September 23, 2009: Coral Springs Fire Department shares best practices with Jamaica Fire Brigade

The Coral Springs Fire Academy, already a national benchmark, is on its way to becoming a world-renowned facility. Last year, six members of the Jamaica Fire Brigade trained at our facility and after having such a great learning experience, they plan to come back for more next year. Another batch of six brigade instructors will participate in a weeklong training in January 2010.

Deputy Commissioner of the Jamaica Fire Brigade Errol Mowatt met with Fire Chief Mark Curran, City Manager Michael S. Levinson and Vice Mayor Vince Boccard on Thursday, September 17, to explore a partnership in the near future.

“After winning Academy of the Year from the State of Florida, that put us on the map,” Fire Chief Mark Curran said. “Academies from all over the country contact us, and now we want to share our best practices with communities across the globe.”

Since last year, the brigade instructors who trained at our facility have worked toward implementing some of our best practices, and Mowatt was excited about the positive attitude his instructors brought back to the island. 

“Last year was a great experience and our staff was most excited about the professionalism here. We recognize we have a need for more training,” Mowatt said. “I’m excited about the prospect and possibilities.”

 North Lauderdale Firefighter/Paramedic Owen Wallace, who graduated from the Coral Springs Fire Academy, wanted to bring some of the skills he learned back to Jamaica and was instrumental in creating this partnership. North Lauderdale and Margate have also provided training to the members of the Brigade.
“Chief Curran was instrumental in committing to more training than we ever imagined.” Wallace said. “The Deputy recognizes that Coral Springs is the top academy in the country and the knowledge his brigade can learn here is invaluable. It goes beyond the classroom lecture.”

Coral Springs officials are excited to explore the possibility of a partnership. “The brigade is fairly young and it has reached a stage where they want to move the next level,” Chief Robert Bertone said. “Fire services traditionally help one another and it’s our responsibility to share our knowledge and learn from each other.”

“I now have an army of chiefs here that I can speak to and a reservoir of knowledge and experience that will help develop the Jamaica Fire Brigade,” Mowatt added.

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