Barbados Port Inc. (BPI) on Monday received a donation to its onsite medical facility of an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) Lifepak Defibrillator from international tug operator Svitzer. The new AED machine will benefit both locals and BPI visitors in emergencies where it is necessary to resuscitate individuals who have stopped breathing or their heart has stopped.

Operations Manager with Svitzer, James Fields said that as part of its ongoing outreach initiatives, the company intends to regularly give back to the communities in which it operates and is currently planning an annual program of giving. Fields explained that having had some experience in first aid, he is quite passionate about having this kind of immediate response equipment readily available for emergencies. 

“When I travel, I notice AED machines prominently displayed in the terminals, so being trained in the area myself, I got the idea for the donation of a defibrillator to the Port.  I thought that we should start our local outreach initiatives with our immediate stakeholders before we go out to the wider community.  So, this gift is intended to benefit everyone within the Port including the staff that operates our tugs,” Fields said.

Nurse Mechelle Atwell-Brathwaite received the AED machine on behalf of the Port.  She expressed delight at having the new machine since the current one was in need of replacement. “The AED machine is a vital piece of equipment in saving lives.  For a port that meets international standards, you must have all equipment at an equally global standard, so I am very pleased that Svitzer has chosen to partner with us in this way,” Atwell-Brathwaite said.

Divisional Manager, Human Resources & Industrial Relations Curtis Smith, agreed that the AED machine had come at an opportune time.  “Nurse Atwell-Brathwaite had identified an AED machine as one of the items due for replacement in her budget for this year.   We are therefore pleased that we no longer have this expense and that we can put the resources to another area to ensure our medical facility is state-of-the-art,” Smith said as he thanked Fields for Svitzer's generosity.

Three years ago, Svitzer acquired the tugs operating within the Port from BPI. The company now has a lease arrangement with BPI whereby Svitzer is responsible for the maintenance of the vessels, while BPI staff continue to be the operators, responsible for crew.  

SVITZER is part of the A.P. Moller-Maersk group and the industry leader within the tug and towage sector, operating approx. 500 vessels in the world with some 4,000 colleagues worldwide.

Caption: (left to right) BPI Divisional Manager Human Resources & Industrial Relations Curtis Smith, Operations Manager with Svitzer James Fields, and Nurse Mechelle Atwell-Brathwaite.

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