Fire Chief, Joseph Joseph, told the opening ceremony Sunday of the new Babonneau fire station that the new facility will not only enhance the comfort and safety of firefighters, but boost morale as well.
Joseph said although today a few accommodation issues remain, most fire stations are in a ‘reasonably habitable state,’ thanks to the generous efforts of the government, as well as other agencies and organisations.
According to the Fire Chief, Babonneau station is strategically located.
He disclosed that the station will strengthen the response capability of the Saint Lucian Fire Service in the increasingly busy northern part of Saint Lucia.
“The operation of the new station is expected to result in a reduction in the number of responses at both Fire Service Headquarters and the Gros Islet fire station,” Joseph told the opening ceremony.
“The added staffing will serve to boost morale of serving members and assist in addressing some human resource concerns, including the reduction of stress and burnout,” Joseph stated.
He expressed the gratitude of the fire service to the people of Babonneau for their patience and cooperation from the inception of the project.
Joseph asked for their continued cooperation in fostering a healthy relationship with firefighters assigned to the community.
“Our aim is to work with various agencies and organisations to enhance safety and create resilient communities in Saint Lucia to mitigate the effects of disasters and other emergencies which, unfortunately, we experience from time to time,” he disclosed.
Joseph said the fire service looks forward to the construction of a new headquarters building in the near future.
At the same time, he made mention of the notable absence of fire stations to serve communities along the West Coast, between Castries and Soufriere.
“We hope that this issue will be addressed soon,” the Fire Chief said.
He urged firefighters assigned to the Babonneau station to show their appreciation for the facility by treating the building as though it were their own, or even better.
“We expect your performance to match or exceed the quality of your accommodation. Make us all proud,” he declared.
Construction of the Babonneau Fire Station commenced in 2015 to the tune of $6 million dollars.
But after more than two years the building was yet to be commissioned and remained closed.
It was just recently that Home Affairs, Justice and National Security Minister, Hermangild Francis, announced that the facility would soon be commissioned.
It was reported that 28 firefighters would be assigned to the station.