The Saint Lucia Fire Service (SLFS) has expressed concern about the excessive consumption of alcohol by young people, especially at mass crowd events.
George Victorin, who is responsible for Fire Prevention and Safety, told reporters that some of the young people involved are under the age of 18.
He disclosed that even before the mass crowd events at which the young people are in attendance end, some of them have to be treated for the effects of over indulging in alcohol.
“Some of them have to be transported to medical facilities for further treatment,” Victorin explained.
“We are encouraging those young persons to be responsible,” the SLFS official stated.
Victorin warned that once people lose control of their faculties as a result of excessive consumption of alcohol, they can fall prey to unsavoury incidents.
He said the SLFS is encouraging not only young people, but persons in general to act responsibly.
“On the way home we see sometimes three, four collisions on the road and the fire service has to be called to rescue some of these persons, treat them and transport them,” he observed.
“It is really challenging for us, because imagine in one night we have to respond to three or more vehicle accidents – some of them at the same time and really, we do not have the type of resources to handle all these calls at the same time, especially the human resources.”
He revealed that at times the SLFS resorts to using pickup vans to respond.
But Victorin asserted that those vehicles are not suitable for such interventions.
“It is really a strain and at times it does not allow us to provide the best intervention necessary,” the SLFS official told reporters.
He expressed the view that the situation is getting worse as the number of events increase and the format of the activities encourages the excessive consumption of intoxicating beverages, since patrons at times bring their own coolers with alcoholic beverages.