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Felix Says Personality Continues To Supersede Policy In Fire Service

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The Chairman of the St. Lucia Fire Service Association, Shane Felix, has lamented that despite recommendations from several reports, personality continues to supersede policy in the fire department.

Felix made the comments in an inaugural New Year address.

He said one of the areas of deepest interest for most firefighters is the current promotions process.

The association Chairman quoted excerpts from a 1996 Management Audit, the 2013 Commission of Inquiry report, and the 2016 review, all indicating dissatisfaction among fire officers who felt that the promotion process was unfair.

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“Staff feel that they have very little or no positive career development opportunities and that some promotions in the past have been used to “reward” those loyal to management whilst the denial of progression has been used to “punish” those seen as troublesome,” Felix quoted the 2016 review as saying on page 11.

“In my opinion, the deliberate denial of upward mobility to anyone is tantamount to solitary confinement while serving a prison sentence,” he asserted.

Felix recalled that at a meeting with Home Affairs Minister Dr. Virginia Albert-Poyotte, she indicated the ongoing plans to improve the overall process for promotions.

And he disclosed that the St. Lucia Fire Service Association would seek priority for ‘this sensitive subject’ at follow-up meetings.

Felix explained that the objective would be to eliminate or ameliorate the contention, dissatisfaction, and frustration firefighters have endured.

He explained that other areas are also important to the association.

As a result, Felix explained that, in discussion with the authorities, the organisation would seek to address those matters to elevate the SLFS to ‘a place of national recognition’.

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  1. Same with the RSLPF, the Public Service and most Businesses, welcome to St Lucia. The country runs on nepotism

  2. Same with many government organisations. Too many dinosaurs and incompetents are holding on for dear life to top level positions in many government services refusing to step down and retire… in fact many retire and come back as consultants and hold many to ransom with their belief that they are indispensable. The only thing this does is it leads to nepotism and corruption which causes the tax payers a lot of money. Case in point, many of the projects that are implemented are given to the same incompetent contractors who are favored by those in charge. What we see as a result is poor road and bridge work which has to be redone, Project cost overuns in terms of time and money and schools taking years to complete and kids suffering. The system needs a complete overhaul.

  3. Mr. Felix is right! He’s also brave, bold and courageous to stand up and say the very things everybody knows, but which few are willing to publicly say! The authorities need this kind of fire under them (no pun intended!) on a continual basis in order for things to change!

  4. Mr. Felix, you are correct. This happens in the entire public service. The result? The mediocrity and lack of productivity currently being experienced in the public dervice, square pegs in round holes, frustrated, qualified, competent people who eventually migrate to countries where progress is based on merit, not favor.


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