Twenty new fire officers were yesterday welcomed into the Barbados Fire Academy.
It was a historic 38th passing out parade and award ceremony, the first since the fire academy opened one year ago.
The newly installed recruits, including five females, admirably braved an occasional downpour of rain as they greeted well-wishers to impressive drill displays and demonstrations. When all was said and done, Auxiliary Fire Officer 362 Shaquille Williams was named the best recruit.
Delivering remarks, Chief Fire Officer Errol Maynard encouraged the recruits to continue to aim for the top now that they were officially fire officers.
“Continue doing well, keep raising the bar. Go beyond your known best because your best might not be adequate. Your best might miss the mark; therefore always endeavour to do well. Reach the sun and if you miss the sun you can hold on to a star or moon.”
He also urged them never to settle for mediocrity.
“Mediocrity is a poison that kills creativity. It can kill an organization or a country. Mediocrity has no place in the fire and rescue industry. Where there are pockets of mediocrity in the service, we resolve to pursue it with vigour and weed it out.”
He added, “Now is not the time to stop and give up. Rather it is the time to face and conquer giants. You will need the guidance and support of others but that is not all; nor is it the main ingredient to success. Talents and skills are important but it is being strong and putting forth effort and commitment that is the basis of success.
“It is never too early to set goals and develop objectives for such allow you to chart your road map into the future. Opportunity lost can never be recaptured. A vision of where you want to go will allow you to take advantage of the opportunities that are presented.”
Maynard stated that members of the service must adopt a new attitude.
“The bar has been raised in the Barbados Fire Service and we cannot and will not continue to do things the way we used to. We shall be leaders and not followers, trendsetters and not takers, innovators and not users. We have to cater to the needs of our customers and not just provide a standard and traditional service. We have to upgrade our skill set and reflect the community we serve. We have to recruit an officer that is ready to produce the service needed in 2018 and beyond.”
Minister of Home Affairs Edmund Hinkson sought to inspire the recruits to aspire to become leaders.
“Being new doesn’t mean that you do not possess leadership qualities and that you should not aspire to become leaders in this noble profession you have chosen. You are the future of the Barbados Fire Service and have the ability to make it better because things can always be better. Create your own legacies.
“They can only materialize if you continue to learn, train and improve yourselves professionally. You cannot utilize the foundational training which you have received while at the academy and expect it to take you to the top of the ladder; you must build on it.
“Continue in your quest for knowledge and seize every opportunity available for training to meet internationally accepted standards. This will allow you to execute your task efficiently and effectively for your personal development and growth.”