RESPIRATORY THERAPIST AND REGISTERED NURSE ARE CIBC FIRSTCARIBBEAN UNSUNG FRONTLINE HEROES

A Respiratory Therapist at the QEH who works with people who contract lung disease and a Shift Leader on the Barbados Defence Force ambulance team have won the hearts of the public and passed the criteria from the judges to be titled the CIBC FirstCaribbean Unsung Frontline Heroes in Barbados.

Kimberley Cumberbatch and Venice Forde have each won a staycation, valued at Bds $4,000 to be used at a hotel of their choice, compliments the bank.

Kimberly Cumberbatch was on the frontline during the crisis and even before the lockdown, as she trained members of the multi-disciplinary team on the use of ventilators. These were the ones who would eventually take care of persons who developed lung infections.

Doctors, Nurses, Dietitians, X-ray Technicians and others who had to work with those patients, had to be instructed in the proper and safe utilization of the ventilators and the correct way to dress and use the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Kimberley explained that teams used the buddy system to change into the Hazmat suits and there is a safe procedure to putting on and taking off the equipment, which they had to learn.

Kimberley Cumberbatch (centre) explains the work of a Respiratory Therapist to judges Raymond Ward (left) and Michelle Whitelaw (right)

Kimberley Cumberbatch (centre) explains the work of a Respiratory Therapist to judges Raymond Ward (left) and Michelle Whitelaw (right)

Venice Forde was a member of the ambulance team that used to collect and transport people for testing, and if found positive, they would be transported to (at first) the Blackman and Gollop Centre and Paragon and later Harrison’s Point when that was introduced as the Isolation Centre.

Venice was also on the team collecting persons from the airport who came into the island aboard private jets during the lockdown period. During that time, he often worked long shifts from 10 at night to 10 the following night.

Functioning as a sessional nurse at the QEH, Venice is a registered nurse who also operates out of Sandy Crest and works with the doctors there. Apart from this he is on the team that tests medical students at the UWI Cave Hill Campus, teaches Basic Life Support at the Heart and Stroke Foundation, and does football training for under 17 youngsters at the Gall Hill Club. This Reserve – First Class – in the Barbados Defence Force also assists annually with the rapid testing for HIV for the Ministry of Health.

Vince Forde (centre) accepts his prize from judges Raymond Ward (left) and Michelle Whitelaw (right)

Venice Forde (centre) accepts his prize from judges Raymond Ward (left) and Michelle Whitelaw (right)

Managing Director Barbados with CIBC FirstCaribbean, Donna Wellington explained that when the bank was thinking of doing something to help during the COVID lockdown, one idea came to recognise, and in some way reward those who had been working so hard during this period, sometimes at risk to their own and their families’ health. “We therefore thought to give them some time to relax and rejuvenate and thus the idea of the staycation was born. The choice of hotel is totally up to them, they can choose and decide where and when” she added.

Kimberly is not sure where she will use her staycation, as a friend had entered her name and she did not expect to win, so she said that she now has to think about where she wants to go. Vince, on the other hand, is planning to take his family to the Crane to celebrate his stepdaughter’s birthday. His girlfriend had submitted his name into the competition.

The promotion ran on the bank’s social media platforms from August 1st to September 30th. The public was allowed to vote to the value of 30% of the total and the judging panel made up the other 70%.

Judges were Raymond Ward (Head Judge) and Michelle Whitelaw from the bank, and community workers Marietta Carrington (Substance Abuse Foundation) Kemar Saffrey (The Barbados Alliance to End Homelessness) and Shamelle Rice (Jabez House). They examined the contestants’ Impact on the Community, Personal Sacrifice and Level of Media Profiling.

The competition ran in all 16 of the countries in which CIBC First Caribbean operates.

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