Monday, October 26, 2009

CAFF Elects New Executive Board

The Caribbean Association of Fire Fighters held its General Meeting and Election of Officers recently during its 5th Biennial Conference held in Dominica. The new Executive Board (2009 - 2011) is as follows: President Mr. Charles Ramsaroop (Trinidad & Tobago), 1st Vice President Mr. Egbert Samuels (Dominica), 2nd Vice President Mr. Shane Felix (St. Lucia), General Secretary Ms. Morella George (Trinidad & Tobago), Treasurer Mr. Ernle Fields (Barbados) and Assistant Secretary Treasurer Mr. Vachel Murrein (Montserrat).

During the General Meeting the following persons were also elected as Representatives: Ms. Melissa Bishop (Barbados), Mr. Sidney Allen (Montserrat), Mr. Compton Sparman (Guyana), Mr. Everrette Orgarro (St. Kitts/Nevis), Mr. Malcolm Christian (Dominica), Mr. Samuel Ilin (Martinique), Mr. Damian Jn Baptiste (St. Lucia), Mr. Elvis Reever (Antigua & Barbuda), and Mr. Ancel Lemissy (Trinidad &Tobago).

Mr. Nigel George (Trinidad & Tobago) and Ms. Dehola Jacobs (Guyana) have been designated Trustees of the Association.


Monday, October 12, 2009

5th Biennial CAFF Conference Starts Today In Dominica

The Caribbean Association of Fire Fighters (CAFF) will convene its 5th Biennial Conference from October 12 - 16, 2009 in Dominica. This year's conference theme is “Redefining the Caribbean Fire Service – A New Perspective.” The host organisation will be the Dominica Fire Fighters Association.

Organised by firefighters for firefighters the biennial conference has become the focal point for the Caribbean firefighter. CAFF 2009 will bring together regional fire service personnel and other industry professionals over a five day period.

Apart from the business meetings and workshop sessions, conference delegates can also look forward to several social and recreational activities during the conference including a scenic island tour, football match and a cultural evening.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

29 Injured As Bus And Van Collide

A collision involving a Transport Board bus and a van in Holetown caused minor injuries to 25 students and four adults as well as congestion along Highway 1 yesterday afternoon.

The bus, driven by Lawrence Baptiste on its way to Bridgetown from Speightstown, St Peter, braked sharply and completely dislocated its rear wheels and axle at the corner of Seaview Road and Highway 1 around 4 p.m. The students on board as well as driver Baptiste, van driver Haldor Hinds and two other adults were all treated on the scene by ambulance personnel, police reports stated.

The Holetown area was impassable for hours and alternative routes to Highway 2A became choked with vehicles. (RJ)

Friday, October 9, 2009

Fire Service Cruise 2K9 - 'Fire On The Sea'

The officers and members of the Barbados Fire Service Sports and Social Club will take to the sea on Friday, October 23, 2009 on board the M.V. Harbour Master from 10:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m.

The Chief Fire Officer has declared "Operation Stop Watch" all off duty personnel report for duty at the dock. Join the hott hott crew as we attempt to bring this fire under control. We on 'n' poppin, wuk up and do bad posse in full effect. Bring yuh fire hose! bring yuh water hose!

Soca music and other infectious beats will take over the vessel. Boarding commences at 9:30 p.m. sharp. Tickets are available at Fire Service Headquarters, Probyn Street, Bridgetown at $45.00 each, tickets bought at the dock are $50.00.

We lookin fuh we peeps: KFC Black Rock Posse, Haggatt Hall Massive, Ellerton Community and others.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

People 'Eager To Join Fire Service'

The Barbados Fire Service may be experiencing a manpower drain but it is flooded with applications from people eager to join the service.

Acting Chief Fire Officer Randolph Cox told the DAILY NATION that it was proving to be a challenge to respond to the many applications which they receive almost on a daily basis.

"We are bombarded . . . actually swamped. There is no shortage of people who want to join the service and our civilian staff are hardpressed to acknowledge all of the applications," he said.

Only last Friday, Cox lamented that the service had lost five senior officers in the last 15 months and this had led to a gap in experience in the department.

But he said both men and women were lining up to join the service and he expected that some would be hired when the new fire station at Six Roads, St Philip, was built.

However, it seems that temporary fire officers are peeved that four years after joining the service they are still acting.

The officers complained that they were told after their recruitment that they would be appointed but up to now they have heard nothing.

Cox confirmed that there were a number of officers in temporary positions but he said that appointments will be made in due course.

President of the Fire Officers Association, Clarence Hinds, said a number of the temporary officers had complained to the association about their status. He said this was a recent development for the Fire Service and he attributed it to changes in Public Service legislation.

However, he pointed out that the association had received word that Services Commission, which makes the appointments, was dealing with the matter.

Hinds also confirmed that there was a growing attraction to the Fire Service and he said this usually started with children as young as 12 years old.

He said he did not know if it was the tough economic times which was leading to the service being inundated with applicants. (MB)


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Fewer Calls To Fire Service

The Barbados Fire Service has recorded a 41 per cent reduction in calls to incidents as compared to last year.

Acting Chief Fire Officer Randolph Cox said last weekend that the department responded to 1 746 calls up to September 30 as compared to 2 964 for the same period last year.

Except for calls under the categories as other structural, and non-emergencies there were reductions in all the other categories. The largest reduction was in the area of grass fires which were reduced by 662. The total number for 2008 was 1 384, as compared to 722 for the same period this year.

"The department has maintained its usual good practices and dedication when responding to calls for assistance. However, there is always cause for concern when one life is lost and one home destroyed by fire," he noted.

Cox was speaking during the annual Chief Fire Officer's Parade and Awards ceremony at the Arch Hall Station, St. Thomas. (YB)

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Fire Service Urges Residents To “Stay Fire Smart! Don’t Get Burned.”

Once a child touches a hot stove, as the cliché goes—he learns his lesson, stay away from a hot stove. This cliché does not take into account the pain and suffering from burns and burns should not be part of the learning process.

That’s why the Barbados Fire Service continues to team up with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) for Fire Prevention Week (October 4 - 10, 2009) – to urge residents to “Stay Fire Smart! Don’t Get Burned.” This year’s campaign focuses on ways to keep homes fire safe and prevent painful burns. Additionally, fire safety educators will be teaching local residents how to plan and practice escape from a home in case a fire occurs.

Over the last nine years, Barbados saw a notable 23 people dying in house fires, with four of these deaths occurring in 2008 and one this year.

The most common types of burn injuries result from fire or flame burns, scalds and contact burns. Burns are painful and can result in serious scarring and even death. When we take extra caution in our homes to ensure that the curling iron is out of children’s reach or pot handles are turned away from the edge of the stove, such injuries are entirely preventable. Keeping our homes safe from fire and preventing devastating burn injuries is a healthy change we can make happen.

By following simple safety rules, you can “Stay Fire Smart! Don’t Get Burned.”

•Keep hot foods and liquids away from tables and counter edges so they cannot be pulled or knocked over.
•Have a 3-foot “kid-free” zone around the stove.
•Never hold a child in your arms while preparing hot food or drinking a hot beverage.
•Be careful when using things that get hot such as curling irons, oven, irons, lamps, heaters.
•Install tamper-resistant receptacles to prevent a child from sticking an object in the outlet.
•Never leave a child alone in a room with a lit candle, portable heater, lit fireplace or stove, or where a hot appliance might be in use.
•Wear short or close-fitting sleeves when cooking.
•Set your hot water temperature no higher than 120 degrees.
•Install anti-scald valves on shower heads and faucets.

Fire Prevention Week is actively supported by fire departments around the world. For 85 years, fire departments have observed Fire Prevention Week, making it the longest running public health and safety observance on record.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Manpower Drain Concern For Fire Chief

The "constant depletion" of human resources is of concern to the Barbados Fire Service.

Speaking at the Chief Fire Officer's Parade and Awards Ceremony at the Arch Hall Station, St Thomas, yesterday, Acting Chief Fire Officer Randolph Cox said the service had lost five senior officers in the last 15 months due to retirement.

"In addition to the senior officers and the failure to fill noted vacancies, the departure of these officers has left a gap in experience in the department and a deficit in the human resources," Cox said

The five who retired had 200 years of combined service between them.

He was referring to Chesterfield Mayers, Anthony Blackman, Eric Rice, Patrick Blackman and Wilfred Moseley who all received gifts in recognition of their service.

"The deficit of experience will have an impact on the overall organisation especially in the area of management, since the fire fighting experience that these officers have left with cannot be obtained overnight," he said.

Even though he expressed the department's concerns about the situation and the fact that the "shortage is having an adverse effect on the smooth operations of the department", Cox said the officers had risen to the task.

The acting chief also used the opportunity to encourage the officers to be disciplined and maintain high standards at all times.

"I want to remind you, that the discipline of the Barbados Fire Service must be maintained by personnel at all times whether off [or] on duty. The administration of the department will not condone any acts of indiscipline by any officer," he warned.

In addition to acknowledging the contributions of the five senior officers a number of officers and junior cadets also received prizes for various things.

Among them were cadets Kyle Hamblin and Dario Blackman who took the Instructor's Trophy and Most Improved respectively. (YB)