Cornish news reveals Cayman’s new fire boss

| 03/07/2019 | 40 Comments
Cayman News Service
Paul Walker

(CNS): The Cayman Islands Fire Service appears to be readying to welcome a new interim fire chief in a few months as reports in the UK media revealed that Paul Walker, the head of Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service, is leaving his job there to move to the Cayman Islands later this year. The Falmouth Packet said Walker was taking up the fire chief post here for one year before he retires.

“I am very pleased and yet a little sad to inform colleagues that I am moving on to a new challenge,” he told his local paper. “It was always my intention to retire at the end of 2019 and securing this wonderful opportunity to share my 30 years’ fire and rescue service experience with international, domestic and airport fire and rescue service colleagues and to support their world-class fire and rescue service ambitions in the Cayman Islands, provides a challenging, rewarding and enjoyable one-year transition to my full retirement.”

CNS has contacted the Ministry of Home Affairs about the appointment of Walker and we are awaiting a response.

Earlier this year the ministry confirmed that it was looking overseas again for a fire chief to take up a 12-month posting that would see a Caymanian transitioned into the job at the end of the contract.

The fire service has been plagued with controversies for several years now, from problems of morale to failures in succession planning. The last fire chief, David Hails, who was the first overseas chief fire officer in history, had been hired with the goal of training his own replacement but after three years no new CFO had been identified.

In March the ministry announced that Brevon Elliot would act as chief in what would become a series of rotations in the job for CIFS deputies until a new interim chief was appointed to pave the way for a permanent local leader.

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Comments (40)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    They will be plotting already how to get rid of him. Poor guy does not have a clue what he is getting himself into. What say you Bernie

  2. Anonymous says:

    This guy is the perfect recruit. He is on his way to retirement, he doesnt have the motivation to stonewall a Caymanian, but train one. What government should do is offer this guy a parachute payment at the end of his contract if he successfully trains a Caymanian replacement.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I’m guessing if you want an expert on dealing with car crashes on fire, you have a ready made expert here in Paul Walker. There’ll be no half-baked policies from him either.

  4. Bertie : B says:

    Nothing but Respect for All fireman , these are people willing to risk their own lives to help others , Doesn’t matter where they lived before . God Bless all of you .

  5. Anonymous says:

    the question is ‘why did the department head not make sure that a capable Caymanian was groomed to step into the vacancy?”

    • Anonymous says:

      The question is why do you not understand this is part of that exact process. One year. Not twenty.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Outside of the need at the international airports, the fire service should be primarily a volunteer operation, as it is in small towns in the real world. As it stands, it’s an extension of the Civil Service welfare program.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Hope his domino game is strong.

    • Anonymous says:

      I want to thank the civil service for not bending to political pressure and bringing in an experienced fire chief.

      Maybe he can get fire Officers to turn up for a meeting on time.

      I believe that our 3 Caymanians Deputies should make every effort to learn from this Chief.

  8. J|) says:

    “why da hell a Caymanian didn’t get this job” comments in 3.. 2..

    • Anonymous says:

      Ok Cayman hopefuls please use this time to be coached, mentored and fill this capacity. Stop the “crab in the bucket” mentality!!!

      • Anonymous says:

        Which Caymanian has the experience of being head of a fire service that serves 500,000 people? Na like he wasted time during his career.

        “During his time at Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service Paul has overseen a £27.5m Capital Replacement Programme for the fire service and a £10m capital investment in emergency cover for Camborne, Pool, Redruth and Hayle. ”

        Caymanians, stop complaining and use this opportunity to learn something from him. If after this one year you don’t replace him, maybe the problem is you overestimating your capability.

        • Anonymous says:

          I have no comment about the gentleman but pardon me. I don’t think the job description should have asked for someone with the experience of serving 500,000 people! Unless of course the Premier and speaker plans to grow the population that much. With those two you know what to expect anymore. As an aside, when were they going to tell us? No regards, no respect for us !.

        • Media Police says:

          Seems like you have a personal stake in this. We darn well and have Caymanians capable of doing this job but if he doesn’t talk like an English man or white you won’t get ahead in Cayman.

          • Anonymous says:

            Unless Caymanians have been abroad and worked in a fire service how can they get experience here? We are lucky we get very few fires so the crews get little actual experience, how many fire personnel have walked up a 10 story building let alone fought a fire in one? We need to send them off island to work for at least a year then if they still want to return only then can they gain promotion. Can you imagine what would happen if a fire broke out in the new 50 stories McKeeva Tower or on a docked cruise ship?

    • Anonymous says:

      I quite frankly don’t give a damn whether the fire chief is Caymanian or not. This is an essential service that may just save lives, therefore I want the most qualified person in the position – regardless of nationality. Perhaps if our own people stop with the entitlement attitude AND learn and earn these top positions, we may just have a world class fire service to be proud of.

    • Anonymous says:

      Because no one is competent. Just look at the other Caymanian led departments

    • Anonymous says:

      Not good enough, and just being caymanian ain’t a qualification of competency

  9. Anonymous says:

    We don’t want no expat we don’t need him here only looking to be on seven mile beach

  10. Anonymous says:

    So he must have heard from the last Chief what a sweet deal is? Come for holiday, work a little, get big payout at the end. Caymanians in charge are so stupid when it comes to things like these..

    definition of insanity:

    Doing the same thing over and over in hopes that you will get a different result;

    Synonym for insanity: Cayman Islands Government..

  11. Anonymous says:

    Seriously, Eric is out hiring again??…man some people never learn..How about demanding that this one be forced to select and train a Caymanian to take the post?

  12. Anonymous says:

    Am I alone in thinking he looks just like the last guy?

    • Anonymous says:

      I thought the same. Another nice looking baldy guy.
      He’s in for a ride if he thinks this is going to ease him into retirement. I do hope they give him a chance though. He’s got a lot of experience under his belt and would be a good teacher/mentor for an ambitious Caymanian looking to progress.
      Fingers crossed for all that it goes the way you hope.

    • Anonymous says:

      He does look like the last guy and the out come will probably be the same.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Poor man has no idea what he is getting himself into.

  14. Anonymous says:

    poor guy…fire service is a rats nest of caymanian incomptence and laziness….

    • Anonymous says:

      …says the all-knowing, incompetent and lazy Anonymous poster who clearly hates Caymanians…

      • anon says:

        9.46am Have you read past comments from your very own about the Fire Service?.

      • Anonymous says:

        truth hurts?
        just read any recent report or audit on the fire service

      • Anonymous says:

        Says the poster who can read the stories of the airport screw up, the independent review of the fire service, the Cayman Brac crash…..

  15. Call 911 says:

    More Alden style transparency.
    The people running this country really laugh at all Caymanians without any fear of consequences

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