Ag. Deputy Chief Information Officer
Department of Information & Public Relations
The Virgin Islands Fire and Rescue Services added seven new fire officers who successfully completed their 14 week training programme.
Fire Officers Aleem Fahie, Akeem Delpleshe, De’Quante Dabreo, Adrian Stoutt, Annesha Graham, Shaquoy Smith and Jaleel Bowens were inducted into the service on May 12 during the Passing Out Parade at the Fire Headquarters.
Minister for Communications and Works, Honorable Mark Vanterpool addressed the officers and stated that the parade signified the final step of the Comprehensive Emergency Response Training for the seven recruits, who completed 14 weeks of training in firefighting techniques, rescue, theory, physical exercises and mental training.
Honourable Vanterpool added, “These new recruits have joined the ranks of an elite group of officers of the Virgin Islands Fire and Rescue Services Department, who have all sworn to continue the tradition of service – To Save Lives, Protect Property and the Environment and Render Humanitarian Services. The Officers of the Virgin Islands Fire and Rescue Services Department have all pledged to remain committed to the task, in the interest of every resident and visitor to these Virgin Islands.”
Deputy Governor, Mrs. Rosalie Adams congratulated the new fire officers noting that they take risks every day fighting fire to save the lives of others.
Mrs. Adams said, “It is a daily risk of your own lives that you take each time you respond to various calls…We thank you and continue to pray for your personal safety, determination and stamina.”
Meanwhile, Chief Fire Officer, Mr. Zebalon Mc Lean said he is satisfied that the officers have grasped the concepts they will need to apply in order to save their own lives, protect their fellow officers, and competently apply their learned skills to perform their sworn duties.
Mr. McClean said, "I am confident that they are physically and mentally prepared to serve the residents and visitors of our fair Territory in the capacity of Fire Officer. I wish for them health, strength, wisdom and God's blessings as they forge ahead as members of this proud, long standing, international fraternity of Fire Officers."
Class respondent, Fire Officer Annesha Graham said the journey was tough but the officers persevered to pass the finish line.
Officer Graham said, “Through it all, we were very grateful for the experience we gained in our time here which we endured to the end. We had disagreements from time to time but that did not stop us from pushing each other to continue in every task that was given.”
She added, “It was not always easy, some of us thought of giving up but our determination overcome those thoughts.”
The Passing Out Parade is the third to be held by the Virgin Islands Fire and Rescue Services Department in the last five years. The first parade was held in 2012 and again in 2014. The service now has 58 fire officers including the newly inducted officers.
To view videos about the new recruits, visit the Youtube page Government of the Virgin Islands.
The Virgin Islands Fire and Rescue Services continues to train its officers in becoming capable and effective emergency responders so that they are able to protect life and property from fires.