This past Tuesday, the Sint Maarten Hospitality and Trade Association (SHTA), in conjunction with JetBlue and Sundial School held a masterclass “How to react when your business is under armed Threat”. There was a special segment specifically on school safety. 60 representatives of hotels, businesses and schools were present to learn from former special agent Miguel Figueroa (JetBlue / Supervisor, International Security Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport) about how to deal with malignant armed individuals.
Unfortunately incidents involving armed individuals happen. The association thought it prudent to provide this training in order to increase confidence and awareness among members by providing knowledge on how to react just in case an event might occur.
The presentation is part of the “Jet Blue for Good” program. The program aims to share specific knowledge and best practices with partner destinations. Other islands in the Caribbean will host comparable programs. There is no reason to believe there is an imminent threat of an armed incident, the focus of the meeting centered around the benefit of preparedness and awareness. As specialist Figueroa put it “prompt and educated decisions could be the difference between live or death in situations like this”.
Among the attendees were, teachers of SHTA member schools Asha Stevens Christian Hillside School, MPC/Sundial and University St Martin (USM), as well as managers and security specialists from various properties and companies.
Figueroa discussed a long list of international “active shooter incidents” involving multiple casualties. Based on the philosophy “Run, Hide or Fight”, Figueroa taught the priorities in case of such an event. “Fighting should always be the last resort in a situation like this”.
The SHTA initiative was one of the first in its kind for Sint Maarten. SHTA hopes none of our visitors or residents will ever be faced with such a situation. SHTA does hope that the knowledge provided can be used in the event such an incident occurs and help keep individuals safe.
SHTA thanks the attendee, JetBlue for making Mr. Figueroa available and Sundial for hosting the event. SHTA tries to contribute to a better quality of life for all Sint Maarteners. For more information, see shta.com/vision-2025 or call 5420108.