An apparent sickout continues to plague the Barbados Fire Service this evening, forcing the closure of the Worthing Station.
Barbados TODAY understands that only three fire officers stationed at the Grantley Adams International (GAIA) Airport reported for work, falling short of the required quota of firemen needed for the airport to remain open, according to international standards.
As a result, officers had to be pulled from Bridgetown, and also the Worthing, Christ Church station.
This evening’s action followed Thursday’s protest by fire officers stationed at the GAIA over a security incident, which resulted in brief closure of the airport and several flight delays. The officers on the red watch shift were the same ones scheduled to work tonight.
Some of them reported sick after they refused to adhere to a demand by security officials for them to be scanned.
GAIA management and top ranks of the Fire Service held an emergency meeting where it was reported that an understanding was reached that satisfied all parties involved.
However, Worthing Station is closed tonight and officers at Bridgetown complained of being stretched.
When contacted, Acting Chief Fire Officer Errol Maynard confirmed that he was aware that a few officers had called in ill, but sought to downplay reports of a sickout, saying tonight’s situation was not outside the norm.
He also accused certain unnamed officers of seeking to “sensationalize” reports, even though he said he was trying to speak with President of the Fire Officers’ Association Grantley Greene about tonight’s developments. (AH)