Background Information

On August 8th 1998, the worst disaster on the Kenyan soil was experienced. This was the terrorist bombing of the American embassy in Nairobi, which also totally destroyed a 4-storied building nearby. This terrorist act left over 250 people dead and thousands of others injured. The injuries varied from simple incisions to massive avulsions, numerous fractures especially from people who tried to jump from the upper floors of nearby buildings and pedestrians with all kinds of injuries caused by flying shrapnel & pieces of broken glass.

The search and rescue efforts of those who could have been trapped in the rabbles continued for five days running and was led by the armed forces. Other rescuers included firemen from Nairobi city council, volunteers from st John Ambulance and Red Cross and also search and rescue teams from Israel defence force. American, British and French rescue teams were also present. After the disaster, a training needs assessment of the Kenyan rescue teams was done and that led to the first 50 Emergency Medical Technicians in east and central Africa were trained. The class was held between August & December 1998. It was organised by the International Medical Corps and an instructor from the United states – Mr. John Garcia conducted the training.

The EMTs were drawn from St John Ambulance, Kenyatta National Hospital, Nairobi city council, Kenya army and the Kenya Police. In year 2000, the same group of EMTs were re-trained and upgraded in again with the assistance of IMC/USAID and once again Mr. Juan Garcia & Dough Pinder both paramedic instructors facilitated the sessions. From that initial group of EMTs, 15 of them were further trained as emergency medical service instructors (EMS-I). Through these

EMS-Is two other groups of EMT-Bs were trained in Mombasa and Nairobi bringing the total of EMT-Bs in Kenya to 152. the EMTs were trained using the Department of Transport (DOT) curriculum as is in the Emergency Care and Transportation – 6th Edition.

The EMTs further received training search and rescue, water rescue, Vehicle extrication and incident command System. After noting that there was need of improving the EMTs skills and Knowledge and also training of new EMTs, it was suggested that an independent mother body that will also represent the EMTs interest outside their workplace be formed. That gave birth to the Kenya Council of Emergency Medical Technicians (K.C.E.M.T). The republic of Kenya under the registrar of Societies registered the KCEMT.