One day after firefighters rushed to put out a reported fire at the Castries Comprehensive Secondary School (CCSS) that turned out to be a mosquito fogging exercise, the Saint Lucia Fire Service is urging citizens not to be discouraged from raising an alarm.
“We don’t want to discourage persons from reporting signs of fire,” a senior Fire Service official told St Lucia Times.
However the official said it was necessary for the fire department to know and be informed when mosquito fogging is taking place.
“For example, when there are simulation exercises in certain areas or sometimes companies have their emergency drills and they decide to have some movement of persons, they let us know in advance,” he explained.
According to the official, if someone then calls the fire service to report unusual activity that might warrant the intervention of emergency personnel, emergency officials would be aware that it’s just an exercise.
He said in the event that something serious were to happen during the exercise, the fire department would have already had persons on the ground to respond because of having been alerted beforehand.
On Monday afternoon there were widespread reports that the CCSS was on fire, resulting in two fire trucks and an ambulance being dispatched to the learning institution from fire service headquarters in Castries.
However school officials explained that the building is the base of a regional camp and in preparation for the event, a mosquito fogging exercise which was undertaken at the institution was mistaken for evidence of a fire.