Firemen promoted

Acting Chief Fire Officer Errol Maynard (in khaki uniform) shaking Station Officer Neal Smithwick’s hand (left) while the others (from left) Henderson Patrick, Mervin Mayers and Gordon Boxhill look on.

Six fire officers, most of them with more than 26 years in the service, have moved up the ladder.

At a press briefing this morning at Probyn Street headquarters, Acting Fire Chief Errol Maynard said the men promoted had been serving in their substantive positions for more than five years.

Ricardo Gittens and Errol Gaskin have been promoted to the rank of divisional officers, while Gordon Boxhill, Neal Smithwick, Henderson Patrick, and Mervin Mayers, are now station officers.

Vadney Deane, a civilian worker with the BFS, has been promoted to the position of Senior Executive Officer.

Maynard said: “They can now remove the monkey from their backs as they go forward in continuing to lead in their various areas of responsibility. Promotion is in no way saying that you have now arrived; basically it is saying that you are in a better position to serve. As you go up you’ve got to recognise that you’re placed in a position as a servant so the higher you go the more you’re a servant.”

The acting chief also reminded the officers they were there to serve the people of Barbados and they should do so with integrity, fairness and honesty at all time.

What Maynard also noted was that he hoped that other promotions, including those at the supervisory level, could be filled within the first two months of 2013, given that some of the men in the position had been acting in excess of six years.

“We are concerned about the length of time people have been acting. When one is acting for a very long time they’re not sure whether or not … they will get the position and as human beings we know that … is a hindrance some times. Although we would encourage the officers to do their best, we know that they’re only human … [and] it gives an air of uncertainty sometimes,” he said.

At the junior supervisory level there are 14 sub-officer positions to be filled and 20 for leading fire officer.

The acting fire chief also noted that the number of applicants to the Barbados Fire Service had increased, saying there were “thousands” over the last “couple years”. (DS)

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