Firefighters at risk

| 05/02/2014

(CNS): Poor quality and worn out personal kit is not only putting local firefighters at risk but it is further undermining morale among officers, who have been struggling to cover their growing workload in the face of staff and resource cuts. However, government has pledged to address the issues facing the service based on the expected recommendations of UK fire experts who were in Cayman this week undertaking a review. Government said more than half a million dollars of missing overtime and comp pay will be made good in the next pay packet for all of the 125 firefighters affected and it will be recruiting 26 new officers in the coming months as well as buying new kit for serving officers. (Photo Dennie Warren Jr)

Aware of the problems facing the service, Eric Bush, the chief officer in the Home Affairs Ministry, explained Tuesday during a press briefing that addressing the immediate problems of pay was only one issue and they wanted to get to the root of the problems to find long term solutions so that things were not back to the same situation six months from now.

Bush explained that when the Home Affairs Ministry took over the Cayman Islands Fire Service in July from the Tourism Ministry, they immediately became aware that there were a number of issues that had to be addressed. As a result, they began talks with the UK’s Chief Fire and Rescue Adviser Peter Holland. He and his colleague, David Norris, were invited to review the local service to offer their advice as to how Cayman can improve things while maintaining value for money.

At the press briefing the expertsmade a number of observations about their visit, including the poor standard of personal protection kit for individual firefighters, which Holland said was a primary concern for the men and women already demoralized as a result of myriad problems relating to pay and overtime.

While impressed with the trucks and vehicles and major firefighting kit, which was purchased after Hurricane Ivan when an investment of some $6 million was made, as well as local fire safety standards in most of the buildings, the experts said they would be making a number of recommendations about how the CIFS might restructure its cover and make better use of staff. The experts also spoke about improving training standards in some case and adding skills to firefighters so they could also act as first medical responders.

The UK fire boss said that the domestic firefighters needed to make better use of the excellent services at the 911 centre and have them dispatch vehicles to calls. He advised the CIFS to coordinate the terminology and jargon used with the other emergency services for better communication, and spoke about the need for better coverage at the eastern side of Grand Cayman, especially in light of ongoing development with the new hospital project there.

Over the years, the fire service has seen a decline in firefighters while simultaneously seeing a growth in development. The acting chief fire officer explained that the service had lost forty officers in the last three years alone. With a recruitment drive now planned, the service, which is currently staffed by 100% locals, will see the numbers begin to climb but recommendations from the UK experts to change the way firemen and women serve to an on-call system would help them increase their pay checks and help with more targeted cover.

Holland said that while fire safety standards are excellent, there is only one firefighter who is checking those standards to ensure they stay that way and he warned that this was inadequate.

The UK experts' report will focus on what the ministry and CIFS management can do to better utilize existing and future resources and ensure that service fulfills all of its obligations while improving the safety and morale of its staff.

Category: Local News

Comments (89)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    What happened to the overtime for the Prison staff that have been working overtime with no pay and just a day in Lieu!  I think it is not the Govt of the day running the Govt but the civil servants XXX! They all Need to go for change to happen! 26 new fireman they all better be Caymanians!!  Cause like every other Caymanian we are tired of these Contrats being awarded to foreigners!!

    • Anonymous says:

      You don't seem to be following the news releases. It seems to me that those 26 are not new staff. They are only part of the replacement of the 40 staff members that they are short of. Reading between the lines it seems to me that all the talk about reduction in numbers of the civil service, the vast majority of them was from the Fire Service. This clear since they were down by 40 officers. I can guarantee you that no other department was so short staff. At least Mr. Bush is man enough to address the issue by giving them some staff to help protect us and those that visit our shores.

  2. anonymous says:

    I hope they don't have to rely on their own businesses or second jobs to make ends meet.

     

  3. Anonymous says:

    it is about time to have volunteers firemen as I am willing to sign up as a volunteer as it cost nothing to government as no payroll as cayman is very small island with very low call out. It is very common in USA, Europe and Australia. We have volunteers police so why not fireman.

    • Anonymous says:

      You are willing to sign up? Can I ask your nationality and how long have you been on this island. If you are a foreigner the government should tax you to help pay for the safety of the people.

  4. Kadafe says:

    Low morale? Leave the airport security outta this!

  5. Anonymous says:

    "Firemen" is such a better word.  "Firefighters" is just silly political correctness.  In English the plural of a mixed male and female group takes the male form.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Our poor Fire Service seems to have gone down the drain since the Retirement of our Chief Nixon.Couldnt the Government bring him back on a part time basis in order to bring back some dignity . Of the 26 new recruitment shortly I just wonder how many are going to be Caymanians?

    • Anonymous says:

      What are you talking about? I heard the news report which said that the UK Advisor was returning home a happy man. But there is some room for improvement. To say otherwise would be unexpected. Every organization in the world can do with some improvements.

  7. Anonymous says:

    If in fact old fireofficers kits need to be replaced then that is good, but to hire an additional 26 officers in this recession when people are going hungry, cannot meet previous commitments and losing their homes to banks this is madness. And I can bet you more than half of that number will be from back a yard. Why is it some of these jobs cannot be given to some Caymanian who needs to survive in their own island. A few days after Ossie  entered the ring he visited the hospital and  publicly expressed his concerns at the number of one nation that ruled that place, yet each day more and more are joining. I had a friend told me a few weeks ago that a sister was testifying at a church how her prayer was answered for her sister back in Jamaica,  the following week when my friend went back to the hospital she saw the sister had arrived from Jamaica and wearing doctor's uniform and being called as Dr. So and So.  We are outwit, outnumbered, ouutcast out of breath, where are our breathing space, and don't you dare turn to the church (their church). Every tiny holes in Cayman is a church, any day anyone cannot  get their way they simply create another church. Where is the law, a mortorium should be in place and books be balanced, do the funds stay in Cayman? where are the check and balances after fees for Caymanian status, new cars and upscales homes are paid off, where are the monies? Lead on Me "Social Services". Cayman has become a major pain to survive for the hardworking people and the policitians are not one ounce concerned about there people. May God have mercy on our island.

  8. Anonymous says:

    "Another half hour and we're on overtime." "Your deal."

  9. Anonymous says:

    Typical whinge for more cash in line with the lead set by Inspector Bean of the Royal Cayman Islands Police Farce.

    Fact is that Fire Services management received a huge handout from CIG after Ivan and splurged on the finest fire trucks money could buy. This later led to lack of cash to spend on other important areas like training and equipment for personnel.

    Fire service management needs to realize their shortcomings. Low morale is a sign of bad management. People don't leave jobs; they leave managers. Oh by the way, you're not going to get a helicopter so don't even think about it!

    • Anonymous says:

      Handouts? Did it ever occur to you that this money might have been an insurance payment to replace flood damaged vehicles?!?!? What about all the fire personnel that left their families and stayed to man the station and emergency lines during hurricane Ivan? Who were the last persons out there evacuating people? And who were the first to send out a disaster relief crew after the storm? 

      Maybe you all should get the facts straight and then post something of importance.

      And "NO" I am not a firefighter!!!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      People must feel valued and appreciated especially for the risk they take. You would be the first one expecting firefighters to enter your home to rescue your child who may be trapped inside. Like everyone else you wan't to get rich overnight and don't even want to pay for your safety. What about those people who are cut out of vehicles when they are trapped inside? Are you saying they should do that for free? Do you expect morale to be high when the governent fails to pay them a decent salary? Your text book quote of "People don't leave jobs, they leave managers" does not apply in this scenario. Those caymanians have to live here like everyone else. They have to deal with the high cost of living as well. What you should be advocating is fair pay for the job they do. You should try to get the government and the politicians to buy into that kind of recommendation.

  10. Capt. Obvious says:

    Obviously, this is a nonsense argument and a rubbish headline.

    Obviously, firefighters, police, construction workers, port workers all face risk on the job. Heck, even the guy that sells newspapers at the 4-way stop near the cricket pitch has risk in his job. Obviously, I wouldn't want to be playing in traffic every morning.

     

    • Anonymous says:

      It is his birthday coming up so make sure you all give him a big tip.

    • Anonymous says:

      Check out headlines "fireman will get their overtime, vacation, etc owed to them this month, but still working on what is owed…someone needs to be held accountable.  How all of a sudden did someone notice this wasn't happening…its been going on for a while and the new government knew about it, but yet didn't do anything about it until they got caught with their pants down, but as usual its who you are who you know…..just like the cctv..need i say anymore????

    • Anonymous says:

      You are right.

      This argument is not about who works harder, its about OVERTIME PAY.

      Give the Firemen Time in Lieu along with the Police. Or give Police Overtime pay back!!!

       

       

       

      • Anonymous says:

        Good idea. Give the firefighters Time in Lieu. But please remember to give the firefighters all the huge allowances that the police enjoy such as the $600.00 per month housing allowance. This is just one boost they enjoy that firefighters don't. By the way, the police could not be found after hurricane ivan. All the expats left the island and they are still receiving an ivan allowance. Let's talk about that. The now leader of government business tried to address that and everyone was ready to eat him for it. Let's see who will save the country when ivan revisit the island and he will some day.

    • Anonymous says:

      Not bad at all. Why don't you do the country a favor by giving me your name so I can suggest to the fire service that they send a news paper man to rescue you and your family one day while you are trapped inside your home. 

  11. KISS says:

    26 NEW Salaries?  OMG

    26 NEw police cars? OMG

    2 new Vans for Planning? OMG

    Spend, spend, spend, WHERE are the fiscal cuts we were promised??

    Children going hungry in schools, patients having to get rides from Ambulances to weekly dialysis since no Govt rides available…

    Our children and elderly are being pushed aside for MORE political BullS**T.  We were promised change and what we get is more of the greedy same and crony corruption.

    Shame on you elected politicians!  Shame on you Civil Servants, Shame on you Authorites- all feeding off our poor and serving yourselves.

     

    • Anonymous says:

      All those items you mentioned are mere replacement. Are you coming to pick up the police in your vehicle when a robber enters your home? How will he get there when you call without a vehicle?

      When you are trapped in a vehicle or your house is on fire, do you want the fire service to ask you to pick them up and then ask you for a bucket to put out the fire? By the way, I guess those that are commenting about the number of firefighters are really saying that the person whose house is on fire should put the fire on hold until the fire service can manage to call out some sleep walking and half drunk persons to assist them arriving on the scene 45 minutes later, at which time you will unpause the fire. Brillant idea! I want my family to be safer than that. Many times people complain about the length of time it takes the police to respond. Did you ask if the government provided them with a reliable car to respond to your call?

    • Anonymous says:

      I always thought it was the responsibility of the people who brought children into the world to take care of their needs. Whether they brought them in willingly or otherwise. It has always been said that poor people will partake in one of the most expensive, time consuming activities that humans can do: have children. And they never stop at one eh? But yet feel it is the responsibility of the tax payer to cover the cost.

    • Anonymous says:

      It is a PPM government.  They spend, spend, spend.  It buys them votes they think. 

    • Anonymous says:

      The waste continues and those who are hired are out doing private business.  Too much slackness, no supervision, and taxpayers paying the bills.  They are all on the jolly train together.

       

      • Anonymous says:

        I am a family member of a firefighter and i can tell you that their pay is so small, that if they didn't have a second job they and their families would starve to death.

    • Anonymous says:

      While foreign nationals who was given status receive free hand puts from tax payers. That is what we should be angry over. 

  12. The Thinker says:

    I have no idea what pay and benefits the firemen receive, but I expect it is a lot.  How many fires do we have yearly?  How many fires does each fireman fight per year?  How much compensation is that  per fireman for each fire he attends?  I haven't seen any figures.  How about it CNS…. can you give us some figures?   I might also mention that a number of firemen have other jobs or enterprises.  Could it be that the Fire Department is overpaid and overmanned as per some of our civil service departments?

  13. Anonymous says:

    Do you cease your car or home insurance because you seldom have an accident or a fire?

    Who will be the first to cry or point the finger when there is a Fire and no-one turns up to help?

    The FS are there to provide 24 hour cover, whether that cover is effective or not can be decided by the expert.

     

  14. FIREFIGHTER 345!!! says:

    FIREFGHR 345

    It is quite obvious that these individuals who chose to comment on the standares, values and purpose of The Cayman Islands Fire Service have no inkling as to what they are talking about. Since you all have much free time, plase try and educate yourselves and take the opotunit to research factual informatn befor you chose to comment on any issues that you know nothing agout.  To open your eyes a little, the US have numeros websit that offers daily factual heath and safety issues that firefighters face every second of their lives and a memorial site that post the ever rising death tolls of voluntary firefighters who are killed in the line of duty daily. 

    This is a direct result of not being constanly trained but being based on a vountary system that never has wored and will never work in any civilize society. Persnally, I think that you all are mixing up CIFS wth the "Humae Socety". Suggesting a voluntary system for firefighters will not earn you points to gain residencey or any other citzenship within these Islands.  CIFS is 100% Caymanian and will remain so until otherwise desired by the people or for the people of these Islands.  I implore you all to educate yourselves before commentng or refrain from doing so because it is quite apparent in your posts that you have no justifiable reason for your annotations.

     

    • Anonymous says:

      I hope you don't right reports for the service. At least it sounds like the control room might be going

       

      • Anonymous says:

        You are not much better because the correct word to use in the context in which you wrote is "write" and not "right." So you certainly would not qualify for report writing in that department either. Therefore, you should have been mute on that post.

    • Anonymous says:

      Talking of your penchant for 'education', try getting some yourself and stop embarrassing your profession with your lack of literacy.

      Your views are that of a bitter and biased public servant who should no longer serve the people who pay his expansive wage and benefits. You are talking complete garbage and your racist/xenophobic rant should have no place in a disciplined service, you would be fired in the UK for such language. And for good measure, it is oh so obvious that the CIFS is 100% Caymanian, no other self respecting country would employ such uneducated, illiterate, incompetent and bigoted idiots to look after their communities. Firefighting isn't all about shiny fire appliances, flashing lights and sirens, it's about caring for all of the people, all of the time, and that includes the non Caymanians, who also contribute to your salaries.

      As a long serving retained firefighter I can guarantee that I have spent more time at fires, (both industrial and domestic) rescued more people from serious road accidents and attended more public emergency situations than you if you went on to serve a hundred years or more on this rock. Your protectionist agenda is obvious and your lack of professionalism, expertise and knowledge of modern firefighting organisations worrying. 

      And you're right, actually trying to improve this country and it's antiquated ideas of citizenship won't get me residency, but who the hell would want it anyway with jokers like you leading the way?

      • UK Citizens / US Citizens!!!!!!! says:

        It is quite obvious that even though that individual has some  "type o" he or she must have hit the nail right on the head.  Those statement seams to have got your attention, so I will venture to say that it is true. Oh! and I must add that you all take the cake when it comes to proving who is educated and who is not. Please tell me who can you assume that it was a Local Firefighter who wrote that post and not someone from the genera public. Talk about making a fool of yourselves.

        • Anonymous says:

          Nice try at a repost, unfortunately you just add yourself to the list of illiterate morons who claim to be the wise sages of Cayman. He didn't get my attention because of truth or accuracy, quite the contrary, his numb nutted diatribe was a fine example of the idiot in the room and an even better example of an unprofessional attitude. 

          Not only was the spelling and grammar that of a two year old, (as is yours) his argument was fundamentally flawed, no matter where he originates from. He got attention because he was trying to perpetrate the myth that firefighters are demi gods that are beyond criticism. 

          They are nothing of the sort, they are public servants who happen to do a job that occasionally puts them in harms way. Police, Prison, and DoE officers do the same, and probably on a more frequent basis. Just because fire invokes our basic instincts it doesn't make it anymore a dangerous occupation than say, a dive master or construction worker.

          The question that should be asked is why firefighters are able to earn overtime anyway. That should only ever be the case if they are attending a serious incident when they finish scheduled duty time and cannot be relieved for operational reasons. Cayman just does not have the operational workload to justify such huge amounts of public money spent in excess hours. The obvious conclusion is that this is a gravy train and another example of mismanagement in public office, there may even be cases of fraudulent claims.

          Oh yes, if he wasn't a local firefighter, why did he sign in and write as one, and why did he attempt to speak with authority? No, he's either just another failed local wannabe or a potential psych patient, I'll leave the choice to you genius.

           

           

      • UK Citizens / US Citizens!!!!!!! says:



        Whoo, your a smart one!! Do your realize a paragraph can consist of one word such as; STOP!! or STUPID!!!

      • Anonymous says:

        My friend. I would suggest that you seriously consider returning to your country of domicile where you can be proud of all public servants.

    • Hoping for better days says:

      Read your post man; spelling errors all over. I couldn't finish reading through because of it!

  15. Anonymous says:

    How can the fire officers be compensated for overtime!!!  What about all the other Gov't departments whose personnel who are not paid for overtime and have to take time in lieu and often loose it!!!  

    And how do the fire officers accumulate overtime?  Some management questions need to be asked.

    What about the Police Officers who have an insurmountable amount of overtime?

    Maybe I should ask to be paid all the overtime I had to 'dump' whilst in the RCIP which was accumulated during the prison riots and Hurricane Ivan.

    This is not fair governance across the board.

    • Anonymous says:

      And did you not hear the double talk on cayman27 on this subject????

      • Anonymous says:

        I agree that the media seem to have been speaking from both sides of their mouth. Your judgement should be based on the exact words of the UK adviser in the audio and or video clippings that were aired. After listening keenly to what the Adviser said I concluded that he was very impressed with the Fire Service but felt that there are areas which they could improve. You would not find one organization on earth that could not do with some improvement because they are managed by human beings. Overall, it seem to me that the Adviser was fairly happy at the end of his visit.

    • Anonymous says:

      Check their salaries and then decide how well they are paid. I understand that the workers on our garbage trucks earns a better salary than the firefighters do.

    • Police Wife says:

      I totally agree. My husband can barely help with bills because of his already "Low Paying Constable Salary". He has more time in lieu, than the bank have $$$. BUT TIME CAN'T PAY OUR BILLS AND FEED OUR CHILDREN. This is so UNFAIR to them. Kudos to the Fire men that hardly has any fires and lots of overtime PAY!!! I guess my husband doesnt risk his life to keep us safe either. Shame on Ministry of Home Affairs.

    • UK Citizens / US Citizens!!!!!!! says:



      Now let's look at the facts of this situation!!!  Your husband and all other emergency services make a $1,000.00 dollars  more per salary grade and that starts from the entry level salary up the ranks. I can tell that your only concen about you household but what about the Firefigters whose kids are starving and homes are being lost due to below average income.  Get a grip woman your not the only one suffering in this country.  

      To put it into perspective those firefighters still go to work daily despite there shortfalls to save lives and protect your property in the event of a fire or life threatningdisaster.

      • Anonymous says:

        Sounds like you have a really unhealthy penchant for firefighters. I bet you buy the annual topless calendar showing muscle bound water fairies holding their hoses.

        Either that or you're a pyromaniac who waits to see the flashing lights for self gratification.

        What ever it maybe, stop with the canonisation of firefighters, they are in no more danger than any other emergency or law enforcement officer in the Cayman Islands. In fact, they rarely put themselves in harms way thanks to improving building codes and fire prevention measures. Digging idiots who can't follow basic rules of the road is not the same as diving head long into a blazing industrial complex, and even then they rarely go inside unless life is at risk.

        Sure, they do a good job on behalf of the people they serve, but they are not gods, there are flesh and blood doing a job that they chose to do. If they can't afford to be firefighters, then get another job with the educational qualifications that they should have to be a firefighter in the first place.

        Or is this another case of nationality first, experience, skill, knowledge and education last?

    • UK Citizens / US Citizens!!!!!!! says:

      Have your heard about the Public Service Management Law try reading it in you spare time, it will enlighten you to the facts of this matter. 

  16. Anonymous says:

    I got it from a very reliable source that the report was very favourable toward the acting chief fire officer and the fire service. As I understand it there are some areas that could be improved upon providing the funding is made available.

  17. Scotty says:

    I would think this many trained fire-fighters would be needed just to deal with the ongoing fires at Mt Trashmore and to respond to the many car crashes.

  18. Anonymous says:

    They are seriously understaffed, can you imagine working with only 3 people on a shift  to fight a fire where you only have the officer in charge a pump operator and a sideman? Officer in charge has to be in control of the incident pump operator has to stay by the truck dealing with how much water to send what kind of agent to use May it be class A or B foam or just water and the side man is the only man on the hose fighting a fire. There are more fires than people would think  also it's not just fires that they attend to what about motor vehicle accidents? False alarms? Medical assistance just to name a few. How would you feel if your loved one was trapped May it be in a car or a burning building and oh there isn't enough firemen to help? Those are the scenarios that you have to think about. Cayman is growing, the need for staff is there! By the way, why is it they are bashed about doing nothing? When the sirens go down it doesn't mean party time, it means someone or something is in DANGER!  These brave souls deserve a lot more 

    • Anonymous says:

      'Not to mention their huge risk of chronic illness such as cardio-vascular and lung disease after exposure to tie fires and other burning toxins. 

    • Anonymous says:

      "seriously understaffed"? Jesus Christ have mercy on our ignorance.

      • Anonymous says:

        Didn't the UK advisor confirmed that lack of staff is an issue and that more firefighters are needed. One of the main problems in Cayman comes from the 20,000 plus folks who are here on work permits and many of whom received caymanian status. Many of these individuals come here to scrap and bleed this country of its financial and economical offerings and is totally against making any kind of worthwhile contribution to the government and by extension, the real  Caymanians.

    • Anonymous says:

      What about when they have to assist the ambulance crews? Or the police? Do you think it is fun to work 24 hours staight go home and come back to work another 16? Or when you have plans with your family not being able to make those plans because you have to cover a shift………. You can guarantee if you are trapped in a car or your house is on fire you are damn glad to see them. As for the comment about Ivan and the riots at Northward the fire department were right there too!!!!!  

  19. Troy forbes says:

    This is for all of you out there that still going by hear so the amount of firefighters are need  so that the coverage  are capable  to cover whatever happen on the island how would u all feel if  they show up an your house are something else was on fire r been destroyed are one of your love ones in trouble of some sort an the firefighter can not carry out there duty due to working long hrs  like 36hrs straight  before going home to your family much less going to a big are small emergency do u all think that person is capable of completing his duty I don't think so  an I know this because I've been there before an this stuff about cleaning cars  they have a  routine for the daily every day bases but why don't some of u go an see what they do day to day an stop this hear so bull ps hear so can't go to court .

  20. Things Remain the Same says:

    Mo money. Mo money. Snort snort.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Retained/volunteer or part time fire fighters are all that is necessary for the majority of fire/emergency coverage on this tiny island. The only full time station should be GT where the majority of the population live and where visitors arrive and stay.

    An example should be sought from the UK or US where this system works very well with no drop off in public safety. It is also a system utilised by the UK Coastguard, Life Boats, UK Mine Rescue, UK Urban Search and Rescue and Mountain Rescue. Other examples of part time professionals can be found within the police and the military, where huge numbers are employed within the reserve forces.

    I'm sure the same applies in the US and Canada, where millions of volunteers stand ready to support their communities for little or no pay.

    However, this would require a cultural change amongst many Caymanians who appear reluctant to give up their free time or take part in voluntary activities. It would also require the government to encourage employers to release their employees when they are called for duty.

    The notion that you must employ a firefighter on a full wage and benefits is outdated and very expensive when you considerthe actual operational time that they spend tackling fires or attending other emergencies. Volunteers save millions of lives a year around the world, Cayman can do the same.

     

     

    • Anonymous says:

      Most people might agree with you, unless your house is on fire, and then you want a fire truck with trained professionals on site within five minutes.

    • Anonymous says:

      09.29..that is complete rubbish. When you have hotels and appartment blocks the size we do with huge numbers of tourists in them in season, you have got to have a full time professional brigade being trained in the latest techniques constantly. Can you imagine the press if there were to be a fire and we let some tourists burn, everyone would remember the 'part time fire brigade that turned up with a water wagon hitched to a horse".

      Support the Firefighters! They risk their lives to save ours, and may our good Lord preserve them.

    • Anonymous says:

      The use of volunteers have also resulted in countless deaths. XXXXX If the government was collecting the amount of money it should, there would be much in the treasury to pay firefighters, immigration and custom officers.

      Perhaps you should ask yourself one simple question. That is, why do you pay medical, motor vehicle and property insurance? Not to mention health. Then ask a follow up question of how much benefit you get in return? I am only a paper Caymanian who was around when hurricane Ivan hit this island. All I can say is "Thank God we had full paid dedicated firefighters on this island because I don't know what would have happened to us. They were everything to this island.It was them who saved the day. In my books they are all heroes." What was so sad is that I can't recall them getting any kind of recognition for their contribution to the island. How sad!

      I would only remind us that firefighters on this island are most often the first emergency personnel at the scene of accidents and fires. So they must be doing something right and seems to me to be outshining ALL the other emergency services. I won't say which country I am from but I know that the firefighters on this island is doing a superior job in comparison.

      keep up the good work guys, I am pround of you!

    • Anonymous says:

      You Ediot, In essence you are saying that it's only those folks that live in GT and visitors whose lives have any value, or that their lives are more valuable than those that live throughout the rest of the island. What about the visitors and tourist that occupy Morritts and the REEF in East End?

      You must be an american. Whether you are or not, you should ask why so many firefighters loose their lives in the US. It is because they are not properly trained because they all have full time jobs.

      • Anonymous says:

        So, I'm an 'Ediot', enough said really.

        Oh yes, firefighters lose their lives because they do a dangerous job stupid, if you weren't such an uneducated fool you would be able to grasp that fact. There are 60,000 people on these Islands, that's less than most small towns in real countries where part time emergency professionals manage a whole range of emergency situations.

        And for your further education, the CIFS takes it's lead from the UK not the US, the two services are culturally and professionally very different. Take a look at crew losses in the UK Fire Services, then think before making ill informed comments.

        • Anonymous says:

          At least you made one correct statement which had to do with the "dangerous job" firefighters do. With that observation I guess the Fire Service can count on you to support increasing their pay accordingly. Then again, I guess I am stupid to draw such a conclusion based on your comments. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Having lived in the NY/NJ area in the past, I have seen a very successful volunteer ambulance corps in action.

      Hoboken, New Jersey is home to approximately 50,000 residents (which is very similar in size to Cayman's population). To paraphrase: "Hoboken Volunteer Ambulance Corps has never billed a patient for services, not once, since 1971 and is a 100% volunteer organization". See: http://hobokenems.com/. I have pointed to this before on CNS. I'm not saying that it doesn't cost any money but trained volunteer staff significantly reduce the cost of providing such a service.

      This will take political will but is exactly the kind of change needed in Cayman for many services including EMS, Fire, Search and Rescue, Public Safety Aides, etc. The time for change is now.

      • Anonymous says:

        I would like to respond to the comment regarding the use of volunteer Fire Fighters in the US. 

        The US may have several volunteer Fire Fighters which man stations in low density areas. This may be adequate for typical low volume incidents which make up the majority of calls. For these incidents do not outstrip the resources. When something of a catastrophic nature occurs however and resources are outstripped the US has the availability of other Fire Departments and military which they can deploy to assist the volunteers. 

        To suggest that Cayman adopt the same strategy for using volunteers is ridiculous as we do not have the back up of using nearby Fire  Fighter  departments should  our volunteers be overwhelmed. It is also important to remember that we also do not have any military which we could use in the early stages of a disaster. We would be isolated  and unable to cope if we downsize our emergency services.

        As an isolated land mass Cayman needs to provide adequate emergency coverage for  events that could stretch its resources. With increases in population and tourism related traffic  the probability of larger incidents has increased.

        • Anonymous says:

          This is not the US, nor is it a US trained Fire Department.

          Why should volunteers be any less trained than full time officers, this is certainly not the case in the UK where all firefighters receive the same basic training, followed by continuous and advanced training as the need arises. Most people in the UK don't realise that many of their city, suburban and rural fire stations are manned by retained crews, and why should they, the professionalism and service is the same?

          Of course a core of full time firefighters is needed, but not across the entire island service.

          The arguments against retained crews are complete garbage made by alarmists and protectionists with little or no knowledge of modern firefighting or resourcing. 

        • Anonymous says:

          Military eh! maybe sometime ago but dont think so in recent times

      • Anonymous says:

        Tell us how many firefighters are in their graves? And by the way, the world know that the american rescue and firefighting system sucks. Look at the amount of deaths and you will find your answer. People like you should be taxed so the country can privide ongoing and improved rescue and firefighting services. You can also leave our shores and return home on a one way ticket.

  22. anonymous says:

    As a layman,150 or so firemen does seem rather a lot for a small place like Cayman. Or am I wrong? 

    • Anonymous says:

      You are right.  But everything public in Cayman is massively overstaffed.

    • Anonymous says:

      While I tend to agree, I guess the problem would be what if (as an example) the Ritz Carlton caught on fire?  150 firemen might not be enough.

      Fire departments all over the world suffer the same problem: massively overstaffed on good days, but then 9/11 happens and you don't have anywhere near enough.

    • Anonymous says:

      and we can add the 350 plus police officers for an island so small and crime at an all time high!!!

       

    • Anonymous says:

      we just need a proper waste management facility…then the number and size of fires would drop dramatically!! they are also called to the scene of accidents where emergency personnel are called so that might increase the number of times they're required but 150?! redonkuloso

  23. Anonymous says:

    Why on earth do we need such a huge permanently staffed fire department on this tiny island and on the Brac and Little Cayman? How many fires do we have per year? What do the firemen do all day? I hear they are bored stiff, polishing their machines.

    • Anonymous says:
       
       
    • Anonymous says:

      Double entendre of the day!  "polishing their machines" 🙂

    • Anonymous says:

      You people like to write what you don't know, do you know that when Planes land which they do everyday that it has to be a certain amout of firemen on duty for that ? I really wish you all would check all that out before you blabber off your mouth and I will bet if the plane is in trouble you would be the first hollering for Firemen but then again you probaly using lime free wifi so you probably can't afford to go on a plane….

    • Anonymous says:

      How many times did you have a fire in your house and how many times was it damage from hurricane? Think about that and then ask why are you continuing to pay such HUGE INSURANCE premiums on this tiny island?

    • Anonymous says:

      They are required to be there for the planes arriving.

    • Anonymous says:

      Dont forget about their LAVISH TRIPS and VACATIONS. They travel more than Airplane Pilots. Their Expensive cars and Houses. This is why they are CRYING today, because they live above than their means. Putting their hat higher than they can reach. Thats why they have 2nd jobs.  No limit to their budget, they live for OVERTIME PAY!!!

      I say give them TIME IN LIEU!!!!

      or switch to Volunteers.

  24. Anonymous says:

    I trust that this inspection also covered the Cayman Brac fire service where these anomalies of unpaid overtime etc. have been allowed to continue for far too long.

    • Anonymous says:

      Didn't cayman 27 run an article on 100's of thousands of dollars of overtime is owed to the fireman???? and they are actually hiring someone to help sort this out?????

  25. Anonymous says:

    I hate that Cayman's media is becoming as fractured and biased (one way or another) as some other countries. 

    I just heard a news report on the radio which said that the Fire Service got an excellent report card from the British examiner. 

    Now CNS is saying that morale is undermined and the Fire Service is struggling, per this same examiner.

    Who should I believe?

    • Anonymous says:

      don't believe the report that says everything is ok! because clearly, it's not!

    • Anonymous says:

      Believe the firefighters themselves – borrow one or more of them and hear their side of the story.

      Trust me it is bad.

      Plus for those above they never stop to think of how many air ambulances leave here weekly.  Did you know that they have to stay for every one of those flights – even after working a 16 hour shift! – Did you all know that these guys have to stay no matter how late Cayman Air decides to come in – they stay – tired, sometimes hungry, rain or shine they are there.

      Wrap yourselves around a tree and see who gets you out – the ambulance driver!? NO! the fireman!

      These guys need our support not our put downs!  We should be honoring them regardless of what they polish.

      And oh! if we need to give them more to do – have them check each and every house for firesaftey equipment – hmmm I wonder how many of us would be fined for lack of those items.