The Department of Disaster Management (DDM) is doing its part to contribute to academic development through the provision of internship opportunities.
The DDM started its internship programme in 2002 to provide students with an opportunity to gain work experience and make valuable contacts, and this year the department opened spaces for three students.
The 2015 DDM interns are Ms. Kristi Creque, a third-year student at Arkansas Tech University (ATU); Mr. Baldwin Frett, a second year General Science student at the H. Lavity stout Community College (HLSCC) and Mr. David Broughton who is in the final stages of pursuing his master’s degree at the University of Portsmouth.
Ms. Creque who is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Emergency Administration and Management with a minor in Geology, will be at the DDM for two months and has been assigned to support the CDM Leadership & Hazard Mitigation unit. She is gaining hands-on experience in the use and application of the geographic information systems (GIS) while at the same time providing support to the development of hazard vulnerability assessments for proposed developments in the Territory.
The DDM said it was pleased to host Ms. Creque as an intern since her introduction to disaster management was during the summer programme hosted by the DDM in 2008, when she was a student of the Seventh Day Adventist School.
“I had no idea that a single experience would determine my career path. The DDM left a big impression on me as a high school student who at the time had no idea what I wanted to pursue. The field of emergency management is fascinating and there is scope for its application in any sector,” Ms. Creque said.
Arkansas Tech University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, with specific accreditation for its Emergency Administration and Management Programme from the Council for the Accreditation of Emergency Management Education. ATU’s agreement with the HLSCC allows for the seamless transfer of credits.
Baldwin Frett will soon start his second year at the HLSCC and plans to pursue advanced studies in engineering. He has joined the DDM for six weeks and is assigned to develop a community profile for the East End/Long Look community and the surrounding islands. Mr. Frett will also undertake research to support efforts towards the management of critical response assets. Members of staff will offer opportunities for Mr. Frett to be engaged in various engineering field activities.
The DDM has been working with the University of Portsmouth in the United Kingdom since 2010 to provide opportunities for master’s level students to gain on-the-job experience and allow them to gather critical data to fulfill their thesis requirements. The 2015 beneficiary of that arrangement, Mr. David Broughton is pursuing a master’s in Crisis and Disaster Management. Mr. Broughton is an active fire fighter who is currently Head of Response and Resilience for South-west Scotland in the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service.
During his three week stint in the BVI, he will undertake research in the area of enhancing the role and capability of the Virgin Islands Fire and Rescue Service to respond to technological major incidents and disasters. Mr. Broughton has 28 years of experience as a fire-fighter and is passionate about his profession.
“I have never wanted to be anything but a fire-fighter. I love what I do and I feel honored to have been given the opportunity to serve in this capacity. I am here in the BVI not only to gather data for my thesis but to also give support to the fire service by providing recommendations on how they can improve their operations. I will be sharing the results of my research with the fire chief who has been extremely cooperative and supportive,” Mr. Broughton stated.
The DDM will continue to provide opportunities to students as part of efforts to foster academic development and offer local and international students on-the-job experience among a team of specialists in the field of disaster management.