Archive for October 2nd, 2013

Red Cross encourages first aid training

Red Cross encourages first aid training

| 02/10/2013 | 0 Comments

(CNS): The Cayman Islands Red Cross is encouraging individuals, private companies and government departments to undertake First Aid training. Deputy Governor Franz Manderson, led by example recently when he attended the six-hour long first aid training course offered by the local branch along with nine others  from government offices stressing the importance of this type of training especially in hurricane season. Having taken on a new trainer this year the charity is keen to build first aid knowledge among as many people as possible as it says the more people who acquire the skills the better for the wider community.

“I was very impressed by the effectiveness of the first aid training session,” Manderson said.  The session was interactive, informative and inclusive of all participants.  All activities were geared towards a wide audience and did not limit participants based on their skill set.

“We left the session with a feeling of empowerment, and a feeling of confidence that we were now equipped with techniques and knowledge that could ultimately help save a life.   Although I hope to never encounter such a scenario, I am proud to say that I possess the skills necessary to act in the event of a disaster or emergency.”

First aid is not a skill that is confined to one’s workplace or job responsibilities. It is something which the first aider takes with him or her wherever s/he may be: at home, at the beach, and even on vacation. To have as many first aiders as possible trained in the community is to build capacity within the home, the community and the nation.
It is for that reason that as of April 2013 the CIRC hired and trained an additional First Aid Instructor: Ricky “RikRok” Ducent.

“Too often in Cayman we come to ‘hoard’ or rely solely on particular individuals as keepers of skills or knowledge,” explains Deputy Director Carolina Ferreira. “That is the exact opposite of building capacity because if anything happens to that person, that knowledge or skill is lost. It is in our best interest, as a nation, to train and equip as many people as possible with as many skills and as much knowledge as they are interested in acquiring and able to handle.

“It is equally important to ensure that the quality of that training is of the highest caliber and that people know what they’ll get with their training. That’s why we are so happy to have Ricky on board and to be able to expand the reach of this programme,” she adds.

With the hiring of Ducent the CI Red Cross has essentially doubled the training capacity of the First Aid Programme and the response so far has been phenomenal. Once the new administration office is ready, the additional training room will mean that two full public trainings can be run simultaneously.

Ducent has already started breaking the perceived “intimidation” of first aid training by developing and delivering a 45 minute mini first aid training to schools, other medium to large sized organizations and staff development programs. While not a full first aid training, this mini presentation serves to give people an idea of what the full training entails and gives them at least one simple thing that they can do to assist someone in specific types of distress.

“Often times we go presentations, see the power point up on the screen and right off the bat we know it’ll be painful and we check out instantly,” explained Ducent. “How often do you see people doing their best to look ‘official’ when looking down at their smart phones but in reality they are trying to beat their Despicable Me or Angry Birds score? We’ve all done it, and we all think no one noticed, but they did.

“The mini presentation has been done in such a way that it is interactive, fun, education and most of all engaging. It’s been enthusiastically received so far because of the fact that people leave with a specific bit of knowledge that they can use and they haven’t had to suffer through the usual "not so glamorous" tone of these types of trainings. It’s a win-win,” he added.

The Cayman Islands Red Cross offers public and private first aid trainings for individuals, community organisations, businesses and other such groups. A full schedule of public training can be found at the CIRC website or by contacting 949-6785 ext 29 or 30 or emailing: or

Continue Reading

Listen to wisdom of elders, officials say

Listen to wisdom of elders, officials say

| 02/10/2013 | 1 Comment

(CNS): The Cayman Islands is participating in a month-long celebration of older persons and the national theme this year is 'Listening to Our Older Persons', which recognize the major contributions that senior citizens have to make to our community and the need to keep the older folks vibrant and involved in society. Speaking at a special lunch at UCCI to launch the celebrations, back bench government councillor Alva Suckoo said that without the contribution of seniors the people would lose their connection to heritage, culture and a sense of who they are, and he pointed to the wisdom they have. “Our seniors are equipped with a wealth of knowledge. All we have to do is ask them,” he said.

A key focus of the annual observance is to ensure that adequate opportunities are in place to keep seniors vibrant.

“Although many continue to make a positive difference through voluntary work, we need to create permanent and sustainable activities for older persons so they can maintain active contributors to society," said Jen Dixon, the director of the Department of Children and Family Services.

In his message to mark the month long celebrations, Premier Alden McLaughlin said seniors presented a wealth of experience and skills. “We can tap into this resource by creating activities for our older people, so they can remain in the mainstream longer,” he said.

For further information on Older Person’s Month or for a full list of activities, please contact DCFS at 949-0290, or visit

Continue Reading

National Trust puts nature up for adoption

National Trust puts nature up for adoption

| 02/10/2013 | 7 Comments

(CNS): As the battle to preserve what remains of the Cayman Islands' dwindling natural resources gets tougher and with no spare cash and no conservation legislation, the National Trust of the Cayman Islands is turning to a new marketing idea to raise funds towards purchasing land and managing what it has — the only means by which unique habitat can be saved from the bulldozer. Launching its 'Adopt Nature Programme', the first of its kind in the Cayman Islands, the Trust said sponsors could become financial guardians of a slice of uniquelocal habitat.

Adopters will receive an adoption certificate, map and description of their adopted area, and the adoption will be recorded in an online public database, as well as on site where possible.

To participate in the programme individuals can choose an area and the amount of acres to be adopted and then make an online payment via a secure form or by cheque. Adoptions are valid for 5 years, with the original adopter having first choice of renewal for the same area.

“We wanted to find a way to make participating in local conservation efforts affordable and accessible to individuals and companies whilst developing a sustainable source of income for the Trust,” said National Trust Director Christina Pineda. “I believe that the Adopt Nature Programme has accomplished this and has also created a completely new and unique gift idea for those who want to give a meaningful and creative gift to others.  By adopting acres in our reserves, individuals and companies will make a world of difference by helping us to protect the habitats of Cayman’s important biodiversity.”

The National Trust, like all charities and NGOs, is feeling the pinch as donors cut back and support from government is also being reduced. So, in its fight to keep protecting local environmental and cultural resources, the Trust needs to find new ways to bring in much needed revenue.

Adopting a parcel of land does not confer rights to the land for use but helps the Trust manage and, most importantly, protect the land for the species occupying it. Environmental Programmes Manager Paul Watler said the Adopt Nature Programme is similar to the adopt-a-highway programme in the US or adopt-a-rainforest in the Amazon.

“People who participate in those programmes don’t suddenly own a strip of highway or piece of forest. I felt it important to confirm that adopting does not confer any legal rights to any of the National Trust properties, but rather is a way for people to assist us with the ongoing costs of habitat protection,” he explained.

The Cayman Islands is home to more than 700 plant species, 240 bird species, 9 bat species, 13 reptile species and 50 butterfly species, most of which are found nowhere else in the world. Contributions through the Adopt Nature Programme will help the Trust in its efforts to conserve these species in our forests, shrub lands and wetlands throughout all three Cayman Islands.

The Mastic Reserve, Salina Reserve, and Governor Gore’s Bird Sanctuary are a few areas available for adoption in Grand Cayman, along with Cayman Brac Parrot Reserve and Brac Splits in Cayman Brac and Booby Pond Nature Reserve in Little Cayman.

Individuals or companies can adopt portions of the Trust’s reserves, starting at a quarter acre for CI$99. Those adopting a full acre will receive a discounted rate of CI$350.

Individualscan also adopt in memory of a loved one or to give as a gift. The programme is also an ideal option for environmentally minded companies looking for ways to contribute to conservation in the Cayman Islands and get their employees involved in fundraising for a good cause. Visitors to the Islands will also have an opportunity to take back a meaningful and lasting souvenir with them.

Visit the National Trust website for adoption application or contact or call 749-1121 for more information.

Continue Reading

Accused West Bay man denies street robberies

Accused West Bay man denies street robberies

| 02/10/2013 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Justice Charles Quin heard a young West Bay man plead not guilty to two counts of robbery and a charge of threatening to kill, when the judge presided over the weekly Grand Court mention list on Friday. Shaquille Bush denied stealing a chain from another young man while at the Al La Kebab restaurant in the Marquee Plaza, off Lawrence Boulevard, George Town, in March. He also denied robbing a man of CI$125 in the Strand car park by using force and threatening to kill him in August. Local attorney Prathna Bodden from Samson McGrath said a trial was set for March next year for her client, who will remain on remand at HMP Northward until then.

Meanwhile, Fernando Mendez also appeared in the Grand Court in relation to allegations that he stole over $700,000 from the companies where he was a board director. Mendez was due to be tried last month but disclosure issue of held up this latest major white collar crime case. His case was adjourned until 4 October to allow the attorneys on the case time to resolve a number of issues ahead of a new trial date.

Continue Reading