CRISIS NEGOTIATOR COURSE
A presentation took place at Plantation House on Friday, 2 March 2018, where certificates were awarded to eight SHG employees who had successfully passed a Crisis Negotiator Course.
Four UK trainers arrived on-Island in mid-February to deliver the course. Students included a mix of Police Officers, an Immigration Officer, a Police Officer from the Ascension Island Detachment and a Mental Health Professional.
Over a two-week period, students – Johnny Thomas, Michelle Thomas-Lawrence, Julianne Benjamin, Cindy Corney, Fiyanna Henry, Jane John, David Honan, and Ian Rummery – learnt techniques for dealing with persons in crisis situations. This included active listening and conversational skills, stress management techniques, the use of influence and persuasion, as well as a number of lectures on Mental Health and personality types. Each day students were placed in teams and tested in a series of role plays. The course culminated with a final exercise which lasted the entire day.
The Crisis Negotiator Course has equipped the students with the skills to be able to effectively communicate with a person in crisis in a variety of circumstances, from the extreme scenario of a firearms incident, a vulnerable missing person, through to a domestic argument where the person is threatening harm to either themselves or others.
St Helena Police Chief Inspector, Steve Riley, said
“The course was an extremely demanding one in which the students were constantly tested and assessed. It is an outstanding achievement that the students managed a 100% pass rate. Having this trained negotiator capability is vital for the Island as it provides the Police Service with a professional means of communicating with people in crisis situations without necessarily having to resort to the use of force to resolve some of those situations. I am in no doubt that at some point this course will enable us to save a life on St Helena. I would like to thank the Metropolitan Police Service for allowing their officers to travel to St Helena and deliver the course, the role players who were vital in ensuring the students could be tested each day, Esther John for her inputs on Mental Health and finally the students who worked incredibly hard throughout the two weeks.”
Community Psychiatric Nurse, Ian Rummery, added:
“It was one of the most demanding and challenging courses that I have done but so rewarding and relevant to my work. I certainly feel more confident now in dealing with a crisis.”
Police Sergeant, Jane John, concluded:
“The negotiators course has been very beneficial and has allowed me the ability to use what I have learnt in both my personal and professional life. One of the main principles of being a negotiator is to save lives and if what I have been taught enables me to save just one life, to return a person safely to their family, would mean more to me than I could ever possibly express.
“I would like to thank my Directorate for their faith in me and the newly formed team of St Helena Negotiators who has supported and encouraged me throughout the most eye-opening, stressful, brain stimulating course I have ever attended.”
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7 March 2018