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Fire officers to the rescue

Life is tough for 61-year old Robert Howard. Everyday he takes to the streets of Barbados with a letter pleading for help in order to survive.

In November 2013, Howard lost his house and all his possessions at Field Road, Wildey, St Michael in a fire.

He has since been relocated to the Country Road Towers with his five grandchildren, daughter and her husband.

But Howard, a former worker of the Sanitation Service Authority, now medically unfit, says it’s difficult to make ends meet.

“It is hard, I would be glad for help. I go on the streets everyday with a sponsored walk sheet. Some days I get $20, some days I get $10.

“Everything I had in life gone and I have to fight hard to get them back. People promise to give me things but they don’t deliver,” he lamented.

On one of his daily treks to a popular location to appeal to Barbadians for donations, Howard met fire officer Reshelle Griffith who listened to his plight.

Little did he know that Griffith was one of the officers on duty when his house fire was reported.

Moved by his story, Griffith rallied her colleagues and friends to make contributions to Howard and today the group presented him with a basket of food items, clothing and other personal items.

Robert Howard (left) receives his basket of goodies from fire officer Reshelle Howard who rallied her colleagues to lend a helping hand. 

Robert Howard (left) receives his basket of goodies from fire officer Reshelle Howard who rallied her colleagues to lend a helping hand.

The fire officers said this was just the start of new initiatives to give back to the community they serve.

“We will try to have a project for each month of the year to give back to the community,” said officer Carlos Bishop.

His colleague Natasha Forde added: “Fire officers just don’t respond to house fires. We are also affected by tragedy and this is our way of reaching out to the community.”

For his part, Howard was grateful for the goodies.

“I want to say thanks; I appreciate it a lot.”


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