The Saint Lucia Fire Service Association has hailed the appointment of Ditney Downes as Chief Fire Officer.
In a congratulatory message on behalf of the association executive, Chairman Shane Felix stated that the appointment was testimony to the resilience Downes has shown the fire department throughout his career.
The message also cited the trust he had earned from the Public Service Commission while he served as Acting Fire Chief.
“We share your optimism in elevating the Saint Lucia Fire Service to a place of further prominence,” it stated.
The association looked forward to consultation with Downes on the most pressing matters confronting the fire department as they share and contribute to the successes ahead.
The new Fire Chief, whose appointment took effect on October 1, 2023, joined the fire department as a teenager on June 17, 1991.
The nineteen-year-old Downes then moved up the ranks.
He attended the St. Augustine campus of the University of the West Indies in Trinidad and Tobago, where he achieved a degree in Management and Government with upper second-class honours.
Downes also has a certificate in public administration.
He attended the National Fire Academy in Maryland, USA, where he pursued the prestigious four-year executive fire officer program.
In addition, he has received training in Singapore, Poland, Switzerland, and throughout the Caribbean.
The 51-year-old will oversee over three hundred Saint Lucia Fire Service staff as fire chief.