In view of restrictions on account of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the country, the Seychelles Fire and Rescue Services Agency (SFRSA) held low key activities at its headquarters at the New Port yesterday to celebrate International Firefighters' Day 2020.
A minute of silence was observed at midday to honour firefighters who have lost their lives while on duty. This was followed by 30 seconds of sounds of sirens from six of the fire engines in the fleet. The celebration finished with a lunch the firefighters had contributed to.
In his message for the occasion, the deputy chief fire officer, Regis Bethew, reminded the firefighters to remain engaged and focused on their mandate which is to save and protect life and property.
“Therefore, you need to continue prepare, commit and sacrifice yourself for the safety of others, especially during the countless minutes and hours, and further throughout the months and years,” he said.
He reminded that in all relevant cases and incidents, their courage, selfless devotion/ support and true professionalism, are always something for we, members of the public, to admire and appreciate.
Mr Bethew stated that the agency has and will always remember and recognise the good work of all the fire officers and firefighters in Seychelles including those who have left the job but are still holding the profession in their hearts.
“It is therefore with these few words that we would like to wish you all the best and prosperity in your beloved career as a firefighter,” he added.
Every year, the agency holds a series of activities, jointly with the Seychelles Civil Aviation Authority (SCAA) Fire services, to celebrate International Firefighters' Day, with a promotion ceremony for fire officers as the main event among other forms of entertainment. For the first time last year, the firefighters paraded in town with their firefighting machines and other firefighting equipment in an attempt to bring their firefighting skills closer to the public.
Mr Bethew noted that the parade in town was greatly appreciated by the public but unfortunately it cannot be repeated this year, among other new activities, in view of the COVID-19 restrictions.
He however noted that SFRSA has, as usual, been working on a 24-hour basis during the restriction period.
He said they have mostly been attending to more rescues in road accidents as compared to fire incidents, among which was the fire in an apartment at Les Mamelles early yesterday morning in which a woman lost her life.