The Barbados Fire Service is set to become a fire and rescue service in an upgrade of its half-century-old legislation and the integration of technology into firefighting, Minister of Home Affairs, Edmund Hinkson declared today.
Reform and revision of the Barbados Fire Service Act of 1961 is top of the Government’s agenda, Hinkson announced before the Caribbean Association of Fire Chiefs’ (CAFC) conference as it opened at the Accra Beach Resort & Spa.
The minister said: “We at the level in my ministry, with input from the management of the fire service and the association, are actively preparing a new legislative platform for the delivery of fire service in order to modernize and position our service in line with current practices in the profession.”
He hinted that under a new law, the fire service would become a comprehensive fire management and rescue operation. This, he said, would allow it to ultimately be more responsive to the public’s demands in the 21st Century.
The fire service’s appointments would fall under a Protective Services Commission, which will allow for a more effective regime for the personal advancement and promotion of fire officers, he declared.
The Home Affairs Minister stressed that there was still a need to re-engineer the workflow processes of the fire service through the computerisation of its operations.
He added that his ministry recognized the importance of embracing technology, and was “looking forward to assistance from the Ministry of Innovation and Smart Technology in that regard”.
During his address, Hinkson left words of advice with the fire chiefs: “You must endeavour to better yourselves as leaders because you cannot take people where you have never been; and you cannot impart that which you do not know.”
He also encouraged them to provide continuous training and development programmes for staff, recognizing that they were critical to the sustainability and growth of their departments.
Hinkson further advised the fire chiefs’ association to seek partnerships and strategic alliances at a higher level, and become a voice on natural and man-made disasters similar to that of the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency.
“You may also consider having your association forge partnerships through the Caribbean Association of Fire Fighters to establish the Caribbean Rescue Unit, comprising officers and medical personnel who will be first on the ground to execute any rescue operations and increase chances of survival and mitigate losses for those who have suffered losses in the Caribbean,” the minister said.
The opening ceremony also featured the passing of the baton to Barbados’ Fire Chief Errol Maynard, who will now head CAFC for the next four years.
The one-week conference, in which 15 Caribbean countries are participating, opened with a flag ceremony, and featured a cultural presentation from gospel artiste John Yarde.
It continues tomorrow with a series of meetings and presentations, including one with the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency and the Pan-American Health Organisation. There is also to be a series of training sessions being conducted for participants in emergency management services, and an exhibition.
11 Replies to “Fire service ‘to become fire and rescue’ brigade”
You need more fire trucks throughout the island one that can serve every two Parishes ,also you need Amts in these areas
Wanna ain’t got nothing. Better to do? Stupesss
De men dont out fires, de men does let them run out of fuel by burning out themselves and the entire structure..
We need to come up with our own ideas
Brigade…? All these old British names need to be rid of..
Her Majesty prison
Royal Barbados Police force
Why the brigade part? Sounds so colonial.
Well I do hope all of them will retrained and ready to perform when duty calls
The ‘Barbados Fire Service’ if I am allowed to correct the minister has been performing rescue operations for decades. What the service needs is strategically located operational points with the Ambulance service being integrated to form one department.
This was proposed as a cost cutting measure during the last B L P administration so this is nothing new, but it may take another two decades to become a reality because all these parties dominated by legal brains do is debate long and hard as thought they still in court.
We need a parliament with much less lawyers, they spend too much time debating, and too little time actually doing anything. The minister don’t even know there’s no Fire Brigade anymore, it’s been called the Barbados Fire Service for decades now, this idiot is so detached from Barbados.
@Philip Clement – u funny. u r not even touching the surface. To get the rid of them all will mean the birth of a NEW NATION seeing that u r dealing with a cloned people.
Not to mention MANY MANY of this majority people of little England will DISAGREE with you.
U have a point Green Giant.
We had the Barbados Technical Institute, which was replaced by the Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic later renamed Samuel Jackman Prescod Institute of Technology. Then there was the Baylands, which was changed to Bayville, meanwhile the Pine Housing Area was changed to Pinelands. Now we are seeing what was known in earlier days as the Barbados Fire Brigade being renamed Barbados Fire and Rescue Brigade. Name changes and Statues, the hall mark of a Banana republic. I have served with two army units,one was formed in 1656,and the other in 1670,and despite the striking changes that they have been through during all of those years, they have both retain their original titles to this day.
We have a crisis within the fire department with officers on sick out, and some stations in dire need of repair and the attention is on the Caribbean Association of Fire Chiefs meeting.
This is simply a reflection of the way the government is working. I hope Barbados Today attends this meeting and call on the Fire Chief, and Attorney General to address this critical safety issue. Officers had to be sent from Worthing to man the Airport station so planes could land, the Bridgetown officers have to be covering Bridgetown and Worthing as well.
What on earth is going on, and what is a priority for the Attorney General and the government? The safety of the nation or the Carribean Fire Chief’s showpiece?