When danger strikes, the men and women of the Cayman Islands Fire Service (CIFS) are the ones who run towards the flames and risk it all to ensure the safety of the people of the country, and on Tuesday, 16 May 2017 those officers who selflessly protect and serve were celebrated.
A staff appreciation luncheon, held at The Westin, highlighted the major achievements of the CIFS team and recognised several well-deserving officers with awards for their performances within the service.
The Deputy Governor, Hon. Franz Manderson, gave the opening remarks at the event and applauded the dedication and commitment of the fire fighters.
“Today we show our appreciation for your service, risks, and sacrifice,” Mr. Manderson said. “Every day you wake up, not knowing what obligations your job may bring, but still you strap on that uniform and go to work ready to face the unknown. I strongly believe in all of you and the services you provide on a daily basis for this country.” Mr. Manderson encouraged the officers to continue working with the Fire Chief and the Ministry to create a “world class” fire and rescue service.
Chief Fire Office David Hails also saluted his team of 130 fire personnel for their fine efforts and accomplishments.
“As a department comprised of career members, the Cayman Islands Fire Service prides itself on being part of the community and we strive to provide the highest quality emergency services to our residents and visitors,” he said. “These responders stand ready to assist in time of need, day or night, with compassion, professionalism, respect and dignity.”
Chief Hails, along with the Ministry of Home Affairs Deputy Chief Officer Kathryn Dinspel-Powell, presented accolades to 15 fire officers.
Sub Officer Ian McLaughlin was selected as the CIFS Employee of the Year for 2016, Fire Officer Henry Ebanks, accepted the Bravery in Service Award, Sub Officer Ricardo Charlton received the Community Spirit Award and Senior Divisional Officer Kennedy Douglas and Station Officer Peter Dixon were awarded the Longest Serving Officer Award for their 35 years of service.
The Excellence in Academic Achievement Award was given to Fire Officer Morris Martin, for completing his Associates in Public Administration, Sub Officer Whitman Tatum for completing his Certificate in Public Administration and Human Resource Officer Kandie Hurlston for completing her Graduate Certificate in Human Resource Management.
Fire Officers Elbert McField, Marlon Goddard and Bradley Welds, together with Sub Officers Norman Josephs and Marcus Scott received the Excellence in Fitness and Wellness Award.
The Effort in Fitness and Wellness Award was given to Sub Officer Larue Nixon and Fire Officer John Ebanks.
Acting Chief Officer for the Ministry of Home Affairs, Michael Nixon, also acknowledge the fire officers during the ceremony.
“We value your skills, heart and determination to keep this country safe,” he said. “Your hard work doesn’t go unnoticed, and your bravery and tenacity is truly impeccable and inspiring. I am proud to honour all of you today and celebrate the commitment you deliver to the people of this community.”