Saturday, April 20, 2024

Need for more cooperation between fire fighters and fire chiefs

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THE DIVIDE BETWEEN the “rank and file” of the regional fire services and their chiefs must be addressed in order to take them further and make meaningful change.

Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite, in addressing the opening day of the five day 8th Biennial Conference of the Caribbean Association of Fire Fighters (CAFF) today, urged greater cohesion between CAFF and the Caribbean Association of Fire Chiefs.

“You have two separate organisations . . . and I don’t understand why [that] is necessary when . . . you should both be aiming towards the same thing. How do you improve what you do and the well-being of your members; how do you shape policy and ensure resources are best utilised locally and regionally? This ‘us and them’ approach, I’m not sure I like it,” he said.

Brathwaite said the best way to lead was to be a part of what you were leading and suggested the two organisations hold joint meetings. He also spoke on the need for increased training; in particular in fighting fires in high-rise buildings and at sea. However, Brathwaite said it was even more important to learn how to prevent fires in the first place, an opinion echoed by chief fire officer Errol Maynard during his presentation.

The opening session took place in the General Post Office and featured fire officers from Dominica, Guyana, Martinique, St Lucia, Trinidad and Barbados. (CA)

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