Castries, Saint Lucia: The Saint Lucia Fire Service (SLFS) will celebrate 49 years of its formation this year. On this occasion, the Government of the nation has lauded the fire officers for their life-saving efforts, such as emergency response and fire prevention advocacy.
The authorities have outlined that the officers have been working tirelessly since the deployment of the first cohort of 85 men.
The SLFS marked its 49th anniversary on September 14, 2023. On the occasion, acting Fire Chief Ditney Downess addressed the public and fire officers.
He was quoted saying, “The journey has not been easy, and we need to pay homage to all retired firefighters who worked tirelessly to ensure that we inherited a platform that was conducive to assisting us in modernizing the department, thus ensuring that we are able to navigate current and future response challenges,” as per the Government of Saint Lucia.
The Acting Fire Chief also highlighted that the Saint Lucia Fire Service has played an important role in addressing the achievements and goals of the organization, the modernization of equipment, and the progression in the training of ambulance teams.
He additionally mentioned that the department has also worked towards women’s empowerment, and the number of women in the department has increased from zero (0) in 1974 to twenty per cent (20%) in the year 2023. He assured that the department has been working on expanding the number of female employees.
While concluding, he extended gratitude and thanks towards the Government of Saint Lucia for the support extended to the Saint Lucia Fire Service. Fire Chief Dowson described the received assistance as further propelling plans for continued development of the Fire Service.
The occasion was celebrated by treating the staff island-wide. The members were treated to express thanks and gratitude towards them for their ultimate sacrifices and risks faced.
During this event, the Permanent Secretary in the Department of Home Affairs – Dr Elizabeth Bailey, praised the Saint Lucian fire officers. She commented, “Today, September 14, 2023, marks the 49th anniversary of the Saint Lucia Fire Service. The Fire Service makes a vital contribution to the people and visitors of Saint Lucia by ensuring safety and citizen security through fire prevention, firefighting, emergency services, and the protection of life and property. The fight fighter places country before self and risks his or her life daily to protect the Saint Lucian public. Hence, on the occasion of their 49th anniversary, we would like to show our appreciation to these men and women who go beyond the call of duty to save lives and to keep us safe.”
Minister for Home Affairs, Dr Virginia Albert Poyotte, extended congratulations and said, “On the occasion of the 49th anniversary of the Saint Lucia Fire Service, I want to congratulate the honoured men and women of the Saint Lucia Fire Service who have been providing safety and security for our citizens. I commend them for the excellent work that they have been doing and encourage them to continue to take their work seriously, to continue to develop themselves professionally, and to develop their skills so they actually will continue to perform even better than they are performing now. There is always scope for improvement in whatever you do. So, at this point, the Government and people of Saint Lucia are very proud of our firefighters, and we wish them very well as they continue to celebrate their 49th anniversary, and we look forward to the big 50th anniversary.”