The members of the Guyana Defence Force’s Artillery Unit who were injured in the fiery explosion at the Coast Guard wharf, will soon be receiving psychological care.
The GDF in a release yesterday explained that the Force will be partnering with the University of Guyana to facilitate the care.
According to the release, Chief-of-Staff, Brigadier Patrick West and a team from the Defence Headquarters as well as members from the Force’s Welfare department met with the Deputy Vice Chancellor for Philanthropy, Alumni and Civil Engagement (PACE) Dr. Paloma Mohamed, following an offer from the university to be a part of the rehabilitation intervention.
Brigadier West welcomed the offer, expressing that the support was timely. He explained that the force is committed to ensure that the injured ranks receive the appropriate intervention, noting that while most are out of physical danger, such a traumatic event can have long-lasting psychological effects.
Dr. Mohamed stated that the injured soldiers will interface with a psychologist during an initial group meeting, and then following evaluations, they will undergo further attention.
In the long term, the university will also be working along with the force to build the internal capacity of their welfare department to deal with trauma.
This will also include special programmes to further enhance the capabilities of the officers to deal with other welfare-related incidents.
The team lost Corporal Seon Rose in last Saturday’s explosion. Rose took the brunt of the blast and suffered severe burns to 90% of his body, along with trauma injuries. He also suffered a heart attack while receiving treatment.
The psychological care will not just only focus on the injured ranks, but will be extended to the wife and family members of Corporal Rose.
The fiery explosion occurred at the Coast Guard Base wharf in Ruimveldt, while a twenty-one member team was offloading fireworks from a pontoon onto a nearby truck.
The pyrotechnics were to be used for the 50th Republic Anniversary Fireworks display that evening. But, according to information received, while the men were unloading the explosives, a spontaneous ignition occurred, resulting in the massive explosion.
The ranks were forced to jump in the nearby Demerara River to escape the blaze as the explosion sent debris flying several metres in the air.
The ranks were said to have all been trained to handle the explosives.
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