Consultants to review Cayman fire service

| 18/08/2017 | 48 Comments

Cayman News Service(CNS): The government has engaged another set of local consultants, this time to review the Cayman Islands Fire Service in order to “help develop an appropriate standard of operations for fire services, and to reshape the overall organisational structure”, officials said in a release Thursday. PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) have been engaged by the home affairs ministry to conduct the review, designed to enhance services and the overall effectiveness of the critical service, but the ministry has not yet stated how much the work will cost.

The new home affairs minister, Tara Rivers, said the aim was to promote a more efficient response to emergency incidents and focus on community safety.

“Our fire officers often work under dangerous conditions and risk their own lives to ensure the safety of others. This review gives those brave men and women a voice…We want to know what can be done to help all staff members perform at their best, and how we can provide the agency with the support needed going forward in order to achieve this,” she said.

The fire service has been plagued for years with rumours of poor moral and mismanagement, as well as a shortage of equipment, resources and staff. The recent appointment of a fire chief from overseas also caused significant controversy when the ministry was unable to find a local senior officer to step into the chief’s boots.

But Rivers is hoping that the consultants can deliver a strategic plan and policy direction that clearly indicates what resources and other supports are required to ensure that all essential functions are carried out per established best practice. The review is expected to be completed by October and the ultimate goal, officials added, is to establish a world-class fire service.

Several stakeholder-engagement meetings have already been held, the release revealed, and staff of the fire service have had an opportunity to offer their feedback via a confidential survey. In the coming weeks they will also be interviewed in one-on-one and group settings.

Acting Head of the Civil Service and Deputy Governor Gloria McField-Nixon said she backed the decision to engage the consultants. “As a first responder, it is crucial that the fire service is structured to meet its mandate and I commend the ministry for taking this necessary step and undertaking the review,” the acting CS boss added.

CNS is awaiting details from the ministry regarding the price of the contract for the consultants and details of the competitive tender.

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Category: Local News

Comments (48)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I don’t understand why caymanians vote for people that have no capability of running a small village of 50k people.
    They need a consultant for everything.
    Most of us know what needs to be done and our advise would be free.
    Just listen to the people MLA’s !!!!!




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  2. Anonymous says:

    CNS, would you, as a news media outlet, investigate and publish how much $$$ the Cayman Islands Government has paid PWc and Deloitte for studies and reports on matters relating to central Government plus statutory authorities and government companies (SAGCs) over the past 10 years?




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  3. Anonymous says:

    How about using the money to get the best fire service possible rather than turning every hire into a political hot potato over the desire to hire a Caymanian above everything else?




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  4. SSM345 says:

    Why do we have to pay for these reports every 4yrs that tell us the exact same thing yet the previous report did 4yrs earlier and nothing is ever done in implementing the recommendations of said reports?




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  5. Anonymous says:

    I am just amaze and in disbelieve that it took the fire department this long to identify that they needed a consultant to help with their issues.
    I don’t disagree on comments such as “firemen get paid to do nothing”. When you have post on social media stating ” just slept 14hours out of my 16 hr. shift” is that what you consider dangerous work? When working in New York I worked 24 hours, I didn’t have time to lay down much less use the toilet without being rushed; and then I was only making a salary of 3100 before taxes.
    Also, “training??” Cayman islands fire service doesn’t even have a functioning training department, no one is even certified in CPR/FA , top tier of leadership only relying on experience to fill vacant post and education is not being encouraged is that what you consider attributes of a high paying job? Get your education then ask for more money.
    Additionally, I recall the job ads for the chief position which were “bachelor degree in fire science” where is his degree?

    The Cayman islands fire service has tremendous potential in creating a safe community, however, the right leader has not yet been found.




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    • Anonymous says:

      But what about Fire Code enforcement? Lots of work as every building and industrial depots (such as the Fuel Depot) must be inspected regularly. The list of violations would be 2 miles long, plenty of work for the Fire department staff. In case of emergency, it would take few minutes to arrive pretty much anywhere on this island.




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      • Anonymous says:

        Violations?? You mean wasting trees because that’s they only thing the fire department can do. They cant penalize a owner if he fails the fire code; you know what else is funny? Those codes aren’t even their codes, they use NFPA codes and they are just guidelines, nothing is in place.

        try googling it! No code!! ” cayman islands fire codes ”

        This department needs a cleaning out!!!




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  6. Anonymous says:

    Why such negative comments? All emergency services are essential in every country in the world. Granted, thankfully, these important services are not required 24/7 but they certainly step up to the plate when we call upon them. When your house is burning who do you call? The fire department. When your life is threatened who do you call? The Police. When there is a motor vehicle accident and you are hurt who do you call? The ambulance. So you see, you negative lot we all need these services. You are so glad of their attendance then. All jobs however menial you may think they are essential from the rubbish lorries to the Governor of the island. Every role is important one way or another.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Just like someone has to grow grains, harvest it, pack it, deliver, grind it, bake a bread and then sell it to you. Someone has to build machines for that. Not as important as firefighters? Go few days without a bread and then tell us which job is most important.
      A grocery store won’t sell you a loaf of bread without a cashier. So her job is also very important.




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  7. anonymous says:

    For crying out loud, another bunch of costly consultants? You telling me there aren’t enough Caymanians with fire service experience capable of getting together and figuring out what to do? It’s pathetic.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, 2:09, that is exactly what we are telling you. Who would you like to employ to review the Fire Service? Kirkland Nixon? Roy Grant? Rosworth Mclaughlin? Errington Webster? Denhom Bodden?




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  8. AlanP says:

    “I am committed to developing the CIFS into an organization that the citizens and the Government of the Cayman Islands can be proud of.” Mr. Hails Chief Fire Officer in the Cayman Islands Fire Service (CIFS) 2016




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    • Anonymous says:

      Let’s show some sorry for our fire officers. Can you imagine training for your job and and then sitting and waiting to do that job for years and years but you never get that opportunity to use your training. That has to be difficult. No wonder they call in sick.

      Look at how they were dressed when Minister Rivers went to give them a thank you. Guys come on and at least try and look professional.

      Poor Bernie he fell for their complaining rhetoric and even him realizes most of the guys in fire are simply hopeless fake officers who are experts at calling in sick.




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  9. Anonymous says:

    Glad to see the EY Report ‘hire a consultant’ cash cow is still alive and well in this new Govt.




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  10. Anonymous says:

    Cross train them as paramedics and police officers, pay them more, get more value from them, shrink the civil service. Everyone wins.




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    • Anonymous says:

      shrink the civil service????……no caymanian politician has got guts to do that….
      #spineless wasters




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      • Anonymous says:

        They are not going to have any choice. The maths does not work anymore with current numbers and projections. In fact it has not worked for many years. The deficits and liabilities are growing so big it cannot stay hidden.




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    • Medic says:

      Seriously? So everyone can just be a paramedic,or police officer Huh? Honestly, do you have any idea the training and knowledge that it takes to be a good paramedic? What an insult to what they do. People need to stay in there department are work on improving it. And NO everyone does not win, the Caymanian people/general public will suffer if some random firefighter tries to do what police officers do or what a paramedic does. I’m sure you wouldn’t appreciate some half-ass educated/trained person showing up to your door when you have a true medical emergency.




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      • Anonymous says:

        Small towns in the US and elsewhere cross train into various roles so that each can fulfill multiple responsibilities. It works and makes sense. I am not underestimating the requirements or training. If that means that some people will no longer be able to serve, that is regrettable. There are plenty of less skilled jobs available for Caymanians if our government enforced our laws.




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      • Anonymous says:

        They should train them for coast guard search and rescue too! What we do now is an insane waste of money and resources that could be much better used and multi-tasked.




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      • Anonymous says:

        You are so right 10.41pm these people don’t know what they are talking about!! The fools! They’ll be Jack of all trades and master of none! It takes a lot of hard work and studying to achieve competence in any emergency service you choose as a career. You’ll be expecting Surgeons next to pick up the rubbish and take to the dump in their spare time. Heavens above!




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      • Anonymous says:

        A 6 month course LOL.




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  11. Anonymous says:

    Are they “untrainable” too tara? Flunky firemen




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  12. Anonymous says:

    anybody remember the last review of the fire service???????
    welcome to wonderland…..




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    • Sharkey says:

      Not wonderland , Consultant Review Wonderland . Someone please tell Ms Rivers that the big Boss that was just hired with 15’years experience in fire Service is supposed to know how to fix everything that she is talking about . There you go again the employee telling the Boss what to do . And tell her to stop wasting Taxpayers money .




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  13. Anonymous says:

    underworked, overpaid. review done.




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    • Anonymous says:

      They may be underworked for the most part, but when there’s a fire at the fuel terminal they suit up and head straight towards the danger. They deserve what they make and more for putting their lives on the line to protect ungrateful fools like you. Please do shut up.




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    • Firefighter345 says:

      Dear anonymous 2:54 am, you say the fire department is under worked and over paid. Well let me clue you in on something that you may not know, as a firefighter for over 20 years (and because I love my job is why I’ve stayed)
      Under worked is a phrase that I want to question you about, do you really want firefighters working around the clock? Do you realize that when we are called to “work”, someone or something is in danger?
      We are trained to do the imaginable, when everyone is running from a fire, we are the ones running into it, we leave our homes in the morning, leave our families behind knowing that we may never go back home, we don’t care who you are, where you come from, your religion, even what you think about us, when that siren rings at the station we do what we have to do.
      Take the fire at the Sol fuel plant last month, we all ran into that compound knowing that we had to get control of that fire before it became a bigger problem for the people and homes in the area and the country on a whole, we had officers scaling to the top of that tank that was on fire in order to get a better vantage point to control that fire.
      I’m not saying you have to respect us but please acknowledge that we are a special group and appreciate what we do and are willing to do.

      And on your second point about overpaid, would you do all that for $3000 per month?




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      • FireWife345 says:

        My husband is a Fireman and he works 16 hour shifts, which is normally 5 am – 10 pm. Every year he has worked on Christmas Day and our kids had to spend Christmas Day at the fire station.

        He has seen horrendous fatal car accidents, cut classmates from cars, administered CPR, he even saved my life once when I was hospitalized from a horrific burn accident from an explosion whilst pregnant.

        After that personal experience I have a newfound respect for firemen. He was able to react quickly, deal with my burns whilst keeping a straight face and being calm while I was going into shock. He kept our children calm and safe while they witnessed a very scary incident. His quick thinking saved my life and literally my face, eyesight and whole upper body.

        To be able to overlook heights, claustrophobia, fear of an explosion, attending to a fatal accident of a person they may know personally or smelling a burnt body and still live a normal life with little or no sleep or being away from their spouse and kids on holidays is not easy. I know this!

        All while making under CI $3,000.00 per month in order to make ends meet.

        Underworked? Overpaid? Show some respect!




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      • Anonymous says:

        10:52 and all the firemen. Please stop with we ” run to danger ” nonsense. Answer me this when was the last time you ran to danger?

        You know that the fire at the fuel terminal was really not that dangerous because diesel doesn’t explode.

        From what I hear. Firemen are experts at the following:

        Calling in sick
        Back stabbing their colleagues
        Undermining their supervisors
        Bad treatment of female officers

        So please stop with our job is dangerous nonsense. It’s only dangerous when you actually have to enter a burning building and according to you own colleagues that never happens.

        So if you want our respect earn it by stop calling in sick to increase overtime and act professional.




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        • firefighter345 says:

          anonymous @7:55 for 1 its been more than four years that i haven’t called in sick,my annual vacation time is 23 days, i have over 100 vacation days accrued, i love my job, if i’m not sick i will show up to work.

          Don’t know which of my colleagues you’re talking to but ,there are good and bad everywhere.

          and i certainly don’t need your respect,i have the educated people’s respect.

          ;




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      • Anonymous says:

        Our police officers are in real danger every day.

        Here is the list of dangerous jobs in order of danger.

        Police
        Prison
        Immigration
        Customs
        Fire




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        • Anonymous says:

          With some of today’s thuggish school kids, teachers should be in that list too.




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        • Anonymous says:

          Customs should be top of the list. Ever seen the mess at the airport warehouse? Customers want to kill someone because of the awful wait times, disorganized process and general waste of time.




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      • Veritas says:

        Firefighter, I commend the actions of your colleagues at the Sol incident, but that was a one off. I do recall hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars being paid out in overtime, if that is still going on it must add an awful lot to your $3,000 a month. As far as I know the only time a firefghter didn’t go back home was when he overturned his firetruck, and that was only temporary.




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      • Anonymous says:

        Well said 10.52am remind these people with negative comments about 9/11 in New York and how many brave fire fighters ran into that horrendous danger zone when everyone else was running away and how many fire fighters lost their lives and were never found.




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        • Veritas says:

          I don’t think Cayman will ever experience that type of disaster.Did you know that it was the New York Fire Dept that was responsible for all the doors to the rooftops being permanently locked thus blocking the escape route via helicopter?.




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  14. Anonymous says:

    I government officials are not capable of figuring things out themselves and always have to ask help from private companies, then why are they elected ?
    Anyone of us can advise. No need to spend millions on so called consultants. Caymanians !! This is YOUR money.




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  15. Anonymous says:

    And again we skip over other essential services. I understand the fire service deals with all kind of significant emergencies. I guess the police and the ambulance service do not deserve a look at by an outside resource.
    Fire service deals with….well, fire , rescue, and anything they are really called upon regarding the preservation of life and property. They should receive yearly training and updates to keep them sharp.
    The police are here to protect and serve. They are dealing with just as many dangerous situations as the fire service and more. Constantly engaging individuals that do not want to comply with law and order, and when encountered by police become confrontational, dangerous, and violent. Never ending for sure. They should receive yearly training to keep them sharp and effective.
    Ambulance service deals with the same people that the police and fire do and are often called on to deal with these folks because police/fire are not trained to or do not know how to deal with them. The EMTs and Paramedics deal daily with people who are potentially dying and should be held to a high standard requiring them to keep certified in all aspects of their certification. You call 911 and I expect someone who is professional and prepared to help any of us in our time of need.
    As a productive member of the community I think myself, my family, friends, and anyone who is on this special Island deserve to know that the people who show up when 911 is called are prepared to deal with what may be presented to them.
    I ask that not just the Fire Service be evaluated. Let’s look at our police and Ambulance people and make sure they are equally prepared. We owe it to ourselves to put checks and balances in place so we know who is protecting us.




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  16. Anonymous says:

    For God in Heavens sake please don’t hire Mary Lawrence and Kirkland Nixon as “local experts”. It’s embarrassing.




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