The Seychelles Fire and Rescue Services Agency (SFRSA) and the Airport Fire & Rescue Services (AFRS) yesterday joined forces to celebrate the International Firefighters’ Day (IFFD) under the theme ‘Selebre Nou Lakonplisman'
A special ceremony was organised at the New Port Fire Station, Victoria to mark the occasion, which is observed each year on May 4, to recognise and honour the sacrifices that firefighters make to ensure that our communities and environment are safe as possible.
Yesterday’s ceremony was attended by the Minister for Home Affairs Mitcy Larue, chief executive of the Seychelles Civil Aviation Authority (SCAA) Gilbert Faure, chief fire officer (CFO) Andre Morel, other high officials of both SFRSA and of the SCAA.
In her welcoming speech Minister Larue paid tribute to the role of firefighters, for their commitment and sacrifice.
“I recognise that being a firefighter is not an easy career, you need to be responsible and willing to take risks, but it is an important job for the development of our country, and the government recognises the hard work and sacrifices you make on a daily basis. Many people appreciate the work that you are delivering to serve the community, but more work needs to be added to safeguard your reputation,” she said.
She added that last year, firefighters have contributed to save a lot of lives and properties.
“In terms of accident, last year firefighters have responded to 376 accidents, which equals one accident every day,” she said.
CFO Morel noted that IFFD started in 1998 when three fire-fighters lost their lives while on duty in Australia.
“People around the world show their support for the hard work we do to keep them safe. Last year, we contributed a lot and served the community, but we need to enhance people’s knowledge on the importance of having a safer house,” he said.
During the ceremony blue and red ribbons pinned together was distributed to show gratitude to firefighters everywhere.
The IFFD ribbons are linked to colours symbolic of the main elements firefighters work with ̶ red for fire and blue for water.
During the ceremony four officers from AFRS were also promoted: Darren Romain and Dereck Simeon were promoted from firefighter level two to leading firefighter while Guerry Urani was promoted from cadet officer to sub officer and Jude Accouche from sub officer to fire officer.
There were also presentation of certificates to all those who have followed training in various fields like in vehicle extrication & industrial firefighting advance level, fire prevention, basic firefighting, driver operator of major foam tender, among others.
Two former firefighters ̶ Eddy Payet and Peter Esparon ̶ were also present to talk about their career.
The ceremony was also highlighted by an exhibition and a ‘sound off’ whereby fire sirens sound for 30 seconds followed by a minute’s silence in memory of, and respect for, the firefighters who have lost their lives in the line of duty.