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Saint Lucia Fire Service Legislation Under Review


The Department of Home  Affair  on Wednesday, March 7, 2024 convened a critical    review  exercise with the Management Team of the Saint Lucia Fire Service.

This exercise was geared towards ensuring that the Management Team had a comprehensive understanding of the various pieces of legislation guiding the provision of service to the public, identify gaps and where applicable to develop policies for the enhancement of service delivery.

The review process which was facilitated by  the legal consultant within the Department of Home Affairs Ms. Tessa Charlotte Mangal, scrutinized the legislative authorities which govern the Saint Lucia Fire Service.

The in-depth engagement   was deemed to be a successful but long awaited undertaking.

Chief Fire Officer Mr. Ditney Downes expressed his optimism that   the review exercise will lead to the strengthening and updating of the Fire Service Act, the Industrial and Commercial Buildings (Fire Safety) Act and enhancing collaboration with the Department of Labour in the area of Occupational Safety and Health.

He explained that the 50-year-old institution will be   able to more efficiently provide service to the public while fire fighters could discharge their duties more effectively if it is underpinned by a legislative foundation that is more relevant to the current environment.

“One of the areas we’ve identified that we need to give urgent attention to, is the legislative review of the Department. We sought the assistance of the Legal Consultant with the Ministry of Home Affairs Ms. Tessa Mangal and she has spearheaded this initiative. Today, all senior officers within the Department –  she is meeting with them to discuss some of the critical changes that have been identified. I am very happy there has been a lot of discussions, into areas that I did not even know existed. I don’t think we will finish today but will ask Ms. Mangal to reconvene because this is very important.”

Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Department of Home Affairs Mr. Ricky Quinlan underscored to the management team of the Saint Lucia Fire Service that their role and responsibilities, require adherence to the rule of law and it was their duty to carry out their functions in accordance with the law.

“In pursuit of your duties, it is crucial that every action is guided by established policies and laws. This framework serves as a compass, conducted with a sense of fairness and justice. The community trusts in your abilities to respond to emergencies, and this trust is built upon the foundation of adherence to legal principles.”

Mr. Quinlan described the legislative   reform process as a proactive step to establishing a solid institutional framework which would ensure that management is fully aligned with the momentum towards modernization.

The Saint Lucia Fire Service is also utilizing this period of review and renewal to   make the necessary  internal operational adjustments to the Standard Operating Procedures of various units.

This includes   development and documenting of policies to allow for continuity.

It is envisaged that there will be stakeholder consultations to foster greater collaboration with key agencies in the near future.

SOURCE: Department of Home Affairs and National Security.


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