Sunday, January 25, 2009

Fire Damages Valerie Great-House

Valerie Great-House was extensively damaged by fire on Friday night.

The historic building located in Valerie, Collymore Rock, St Michael, was once used as a skills training centre. It was restored to a community centre in 1999 and repaired in 2000 after it had been vandalised.

However, the building had been abandoned for a number of years and people had been seeking shelter inside the structure at night.

Deputy Chief Fire Officer Eric Rice said the fire started on the roof of the building.

Member of Parliament for St Michael South Central, Richard Sealy, said he was happy no one was hurt and commended the Fire Service for its work.

"The building did provide shelter for a few people and I will see if I can direct them to the relevant social agencies," he said.

Eleven officers and four tenders, two from Probyn Street, one from Worthing and one with a turntable ladder, responded to the 7:55 p.m. call under the command of Rice and station officer Tyrone Trotman.

Fire officials reported the building had reignited yesterday around 3 p.m. but they could not say why.

Investigations are continuing. (CA)

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Essence of Fire Female Calendar 2009

The ladies of "Essence of Fire" female fire fighters are sizzling HOT! Make sure you support them for the 2009 calendar presentation. The above video was produced by Darren A. Saunders.

NB. Please note that the HIV/AIDS Committee of the Barbados Fire Service will also be publishing a Firefighter's Calendar. This blog will offer more information on this project as soon as it becomes available.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Managing Relationships On The Job

It was the same story, just a new location. Firefighters and officers had been fired, suspended and demoted because of allegations that they had consensual sex on the job. The female firefighter involved, the only woman on that particular department, had been fired. A 17 year veteran officer had also been terminated. Two others had been suspended or demoted.

When male and female firefighters engage in sex on duty, clearly there is a problem. Such behavior is unprofessional and inappropriate, and can result in poor job performance, among other bad outcomes. In the case mentioned above, the relationships came to light in part because of delayed responses to emergency calls.

Such incidents make most female firefighters cringe. The idea that women in the fire station would lead to out-of-control sexual activity was one of the dire outcomes predicted by those who opposed women in the fire service altogether. When such incidents make the news, those predictions are reinforced, and women as a group are discredited. There is also usually a call for disallowing all relationships between male and female firefighters. In fact, some departments have such sweeping policies in place.

Making the leap from disciplining men and women who behave inappropriately to sanctioning all firefighters who enter into relationships is a mistake. According to a survey several years ago by Women in the Fire Service, over 30% of all women firefighters were involved in long term relationships with other firefighters, most on the same department. The majority of these relationships began when people met on the job. Disallowing all relationships would disproportionately affect women firefighters and negatively affect many who cause no problems whatsoever because of their personal lives.

Once adults are finished with school, the workplace becomes one of the leading places to meet friends and relationship partners, in any field. It is not surprising that the same is true in the fire service. The problem is not that firefighters form relationships, but that every now and then firefighters behave badly in those relationships.

Of course there are dangers when co-workers have personal ties off the job. When a supervisor is involved with someone he or she directly supervises, obvious problems may occur. There may be accusations of favoritism, or even harassment in some cases. But the real problem is not that firefighters become close as a result of being on the job together -- this outcome has been happening for generations and is considered a positive aspect of the fire service. The problem is that a very few firefighters, men and women both, sometimes behave inappropriately and unprofessionally. When such behavior occurs, discipline, including dismissal, may be completely justified.

So the real issue is professionalism, and this issue is one that goes far beyond male-female relationships. Professionalism is a value that must be taught and demonstrated, from the top down. It is not fair to have zero tolerance for some forms of bad behavior and look the other way on more generally accepted acts. A standard of professionalism is something that must be developed organizationally, and consistently applied in all circumstances.

The fact that the woman in this case was accused of having sex on the job with three different officers during the same time period makes one question how well suited for the job this particular woman was, and how well the officers really understood their professional mandate for leadership. This department should probably look closely at its hiring and promotional processes. But such cases as this are exceptional, and should not provoke backlash against the vast majority of firefighters who manage their personal relationships with professionalism and ethical and appropriate behavior, both on and off the job.

Source: Independent Record, December 6, 2008

Monday, January 12, 2009

Woman Hurt In Morning Blaze

One woman was injured in a blaze at Gall Hill, Christ Church, that destroyed one house and damaged another yesterday morning.

Cordella Burgess reportedly sustained burns to her shoulder, back and leg, after the rented two-bedroom house she shared with her sister Carmen and their five children caught fire.

Neighbour Jamar Bayne was one of the first people to offer help to Burgess as she dashed from the house with her clothes on fire.

The next-door house owned by Llewellyn Clarke sustained some damage. Parliamentary representative Ronald Jones said he was trying to identify temporary homes for the displaced families.

Speaking to the DAILY NATION yesterday, Acting Chief Fire Officer Anthony Blackman urged people to be cautious, especially when leaving their homes unattended.

Two fire tenders and eight officers under the command of acting Deputy Chief Fire Officer Eric Rice responded to the blaze. (YB)

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Third House Fire

Three days into 2009 and three house fires have been recorded.

The latest blaze at Block 2E, Silver Hill, Christ Church, left a family of five searching for a place to spend the night after fire damaged their home yesterday.

Deputy Fire Officer Eric Rice confirmed it was the third house fire the Barbados Fire Service had responded to yesterday.

A distraught Sylvia Hunte-Trotman told the SUNDAY SUN that she, her husband Woodrow Trotman, son Flloyd Hunte, daughter Natasha Trotman, and grandson Xavier Welch, 9, were now homeless.

Hunte-Trotman said she was attending a funeral when her son called her and told her the bad news. Neighbours, who called the Fire Service, managed to remove some of her household items.

Four tenders, three from Probyn Street headquarters in Bridgetown, and one from Worthing, Christ Church, along with 11 officers under the command of Rice, answered the 3:46 p.m call. The house also suffered water damage.

Parliamentary representative for Christ Church West Central, Stephen Lashley, said the priorities were now to find housing and to provide medical attention for the family.

The other fires occurred at Monroe Village, St George, where the uninsured home of Wayne Douglas was damaged and contents destroyed, and at Cleavers Hill, St Joseph, where an uninsured and unoccupied house belonging to Gertrude Adamson, who lives in Wotton, Christ Church, was extensively damaged. (CA)


Friday, January 2, 2009

Personality Of The Month - January 2009

Name: Jason D. O. Codrington

Nickname: Codgie

Sex: Male

Birthday: January 11

Height: 5'6

Residence: St. Michael

Love Status: Not Saying

Occupation: Fire Officer

Hobbies: Cricket, Dominoes,

Words That Best Describe Me: Friendly, Simple.

Interests: Traveling, Books, Shopping, Sports, Sexuality, Gaming, Dating.

Types Of Music That I Like: R&B, Reggae, Gospel, Country & Western.

Types Of Movies That I Like: Comedy, Horror, Martial Arts,Thriller, Action, War, Western.

People Don't Know That: I'm a very talented guy.

My Favourite Quote: "Never Say Never"

My Favourite Website:

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year To You

May This New Year Bring You

Lots Of Happiness, Joy,

Prosperity And Peace Too.

Happy New Year To You!