The deputy chief fire officer Jones Madeleine yesterday presented the Strategic Plan of the Seychelles Fire and Rescue Services Agency (SFRSA) to the Minister for Internal Affairs, Errol Fonseka.
The ceremony, held at the Docklands Auditorium, formed part of activities for International Firefighters Day celebrated on May 4.
When addressing the guests, Mr Madeleine said the plan outlines the agency’s priority objectives, which will guide SFRSA for the next three years.
These include being a modern and fast rescue service agency. This is done by meeting a higher burst of radiance and response to emergencies.
“We will walk in a straight and strong line that will have a higher development that can maintain us at any time,” said Officer Madeleine. The strategic plan’s mission includes safety and maintaining a highly trained, well equipped and motivated workforce of professional fire fighters and rescue personnel. Another important mission is to have an educational programme regarding fire prevention and public safety.
The seven priorities are further broken down into strategic objectives and specific objectives. These include strengthening institutional capacity, improving response to emergencies and capacity building. Other areas include health and safety needs of the workforce, to acquire adequate equipment and technology, infrastructure and facilities and education and sensitisation.
For his part, Minister Fonseka stated that the strategic plan was essential to document the SFRSA’s future objectives.
“The SFRSA personnel are always striving forward towards achieving their vision,” said Minister Fonseka, adding “to bring about the best emergency rescue and service response, it is in this line that we are launching the strategic plan today”.
Yesterday’s launch was followed by a Long Service Award ceremony where those who had been with the agency for 10, 15 and 20 years were recognised for their years of service. Speaking to the press, one of the recipients, Assistant Section Leader Terry Louise, said he was proud of his achievement. “It shows that the organisation has recognised what we have accomplished and how many years we have been loyal,” he stated.
He thanked his family and colleagues who have helped him throughout his journey.
Mr Louise wanted to join the fire agency since he was a young child and chased his dreams to get to where he is today.
“I have always wanted to drive a heavy truck,” he said.
He discussed his humble beginnings and the only way of getting somewhere was through the fire agency. “I owe a lot to the Fire Brigade, my family and colleagues.”
The SFRSA also presented certificates to those who completed several courses at The Guy Morel Institute, namely Supervisory Skills and the Occupational Health and Safety course.
During the ceremony, firefighter Jude Athanase was recognised as the best performer and received a long time service award.
He stated that he was happy and overjoyed. “All that I do, I do for my mother and my family that were in my corner. I wish my mother was here to see me today but unfortunately that cannot be,” he stated.
Mr Athanase explained that when he first joined, his child was just born and his mind was not in the right place. However, when he did the assignment, he did it with a clear mind-set.
When addressing the employees, chief fire officer Tally Domingue said the SFRSA was proud of the employees who have strived for self-development and have taken up the challenges of the courses and have yielded great results.
“We are assured that this is a stepping stone for them and we urge them to continue this self-development which will not only honour themselves but their service to the community.”
She went on to explain that the career path comes with a lot of sacrifices for those who had received the long service award.
“The fact that your journey is still going, shows your loyalty and dedication. I applaud you all.”
Yesterday’s ceremony also saw the signing of a memorandum of understanding to better validate the partnership between SFRSA and the Airport and Fire Rescue services (AFRS). The agreement was signed by the two stations’ chief fire officers.
The accompanying photos show some highlights of yesterday’s ceremony.