Firefighters hailed as they mark their day


Officers being promoted

The firefighters also received a donation of firefighting equipment worth $4,000 from the Division of Risk and Disaster Management (DRDM).

On December 2, 1998, five firefighters died in tragic circumstances in a large wildfire in Australia. This unfortunate incident is what inspired JJ Edmondson to bring about an international holiday to support the lives lost and dedicated to the firefighters who continue to risk their lives every day to save life and property.

Yesterday’s ceremony was attended by the Minister for Home Affairs and Transport, Jöel Morgan, the Minister for Environment and Energy, Professor Rolph Payet, and the director general of Operations, Education and Communication for the DRDM, Paul Labaleine.

Chief Fire Officer André Morel said that the day should be used not only to commemorate those who have lost their lives in the fire service around the world, but also to stand united in support and solidarity with each other as they discharge their duties with courage and responsibility.

CFO Morel said that the fire services played an essential role in the security of the country, and that its members needed to be ready at all times to deal with fire, disasters, calamities and accidents.

“The opening of the sub-station in Anse Boileau has really made a huge positive impact in the response to incidents in the southern regions,” he said.
“This has clearly demonstrated the importance of establishing sub-stations in strategic locations.”

“To work in the fire services is a difficult and dangerous job. To do this work, we need men and women who are disciplined, courageous and prepared to serve,” said CFO Morel.

He thanked the members assembled for their dedication and asked them to remain focused on the task at hand.

The assembled members of the SFRSA and the AFS looked on as selected colleagues received promotions.

CFO Morel congratulated them for dedication and reminded them to remain a good example for other institutions and the communities they serve.

One of the most significant symbols of International Fire Fighters Day is the red and blue ribbon, and ribbons were handed out to the attendees to be pinned to lapels.

Inspecting some of the pieces of equipment donated by the DRDM

The red colour stands for the element of fire whereas the blue represents the element of water. Coincidently, red and blue are also the colours recognised world-wide to signify emergency services.

Minister Morgan said he greatly valued the work done by the fire services in Seychelles, and said that to be a firefighter today was to be a person deserving of respect and acknowledgement.

“I can tell you that the majority of citizens do look at you with a sense of respect. It is very rare that I ever hear anything negative about the conduct of the fire services,” said Minister Morgan.

“Most of the time, I get a lot of compliments about the work that you do.”
“Your work is dangerous, and you have to risk your own lives in order to save the lives of others. Not everyone has the qualities needed to be a firefighter, so on behalf of the entire country, I say thank you very much.”

Minister Morgan said that there was still much to be done to equip the fire services in Seychelles, but said his ministry would push ahead to provide them with all the resources needed to continue with their work.

“Sometimes it’s not easy because there is a lot of competition for resources, but it’s important that you know that government is well aware how important the fire service is.”

The equipment handed over by the DRDM included breathing apparatus and infra-red cameras and was funded by the United National Development Programme (UNDP).

Guests viewing the exhibition

At the ceremony yesterday, guests also had the chance to view an exhibition showing the work that the firefighters do.