Fire Chief Joseph Joseph a “toothless tiger” in Saint Lucia firefighters’ dispute: Francis

By SNO Staff

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Joseph (left) and Francis

(SNO) — Home Affairs Minister, Hermangild Francis, has described Fire Chief Joseph Joseph as a “toothless tiger” with no real powers, especially in the ongoing impasse between the government and firefighters over wage negotiations and other matters.

Firefighters in Saint Lucia are presently on strike.

One of their grievances has been the matter of promotion and the Saint Lucia Firefighters Association (SLFA) has griped about “certain people being favored over others”.

“The minority being favored, the majority not and so those are some of the concerns…” SFLA President Shane Felix said.

Some have sought to lay the blame at the feet of Joseph but Francis said this is unfair since his powers are limited.

“The fire chief, as Mr. Shane Felix has said, is a toothless tiger,” Francis noted. “He has no powers, really, no powers whatsoever. And he knows that, he knows that.”

According to Francis, the fire chief has no powers to promote anybody since this is done only by the Public Service Commission.

“So at the end of the day the fire chief cannot promote anybody,” he stated. “All he can do is to recommend based on what he gets from his officers, it goes to the Public Service Commission, the Public Service Commission does all the promotion, all interviews are held there. So the fire chief has nothing. So if there is any discrimination, blame the Public Service, don’t blame the fire chief.”

Meanwhile, Joseph told HTS News that the ongoing strike is taking its toll on the fire service.

“We are trying our best to deal with the situation as it stands,” he stated. “We have been able to maintain a presence at both airports, avoiding their closure. We have also able to respond to critical incidents.”

He said the fire service is fortunate not to have any major incidents occurring during the strike.

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9 comments

  1. It is vital that emergency services are ready and available to respond to and assist citizens and visitors when needed.... firefighting, policing are deemed as essential services and in maNY first world countries, they are not permitted to strike..... I think it should be no different in St. Lucia.

    It therefore requires that they be compensated properly for the work they do.... on the issue of promotion.... simple solution is to have a promotional process testing the knowledge and abilities of the officer using a point system and promotions assessed on that bases. That's what we do here....

    (3)(0)
  2. That tiger has no teeth, no claws, and absolutely no balls... Shane has a bag of balls, I must admit, to blatantly call his boss a toothless tiger... When it comes to the top brass of the fire service, only one man can handle Shane Felix, and not even in his sleep he wud dare call this man a toothless tiger.. But this man they bypassed, didn't even consider his application 4 chief, n put a joker Joseph at the helm, a man that couldn't be a la rose cheif.. That's all what Shane knows,, so deal with him....

    (1)(9)
    • Shane would call your pick toothless any day because the government has rendered leadership toothless in truth. If you are referring to Downes that ma self is the biggest badest toothless, clawless tiger lol. #ex firefighter..... I know what I am talking about 🙁

      (4)(0)
  3. God help the whole bunch of you if there's a fire and you fools mess around.
    You guys have a good government job with a pay cheque coming regularly
    and all you do is complain, complain and complain. get back to work and shut up.

    (9)(8)
  4. The tiger is toothless but still has claws. They know exactly how they making recommendations. If an officer is good enough to act for years in a post then I believe he or she should be good enough the get promoted. It is very unfair when they put in all the hard work and someone else is being rewarded for it. When it is their friends they will write any and everything to make them look good. Why can't they do it for all. And if it take the course they offering to make you look good even that to they will prevent you from doing.

    (5)(2)
  5. During the last sickout,the present prime minister told st lucia news o line that he supported the action.IWoukd assume now that mr chasnanet realize that mr general shane big boss felix is a threat to national security. Only in st lucia such comedy happe s.ONe fool is being promoted on all media houses like a celebrity.mr guy joseph i voted for you....if this man is not dealt with i swing......

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  6. Shane felix complianed about issues from 1996...my god,you were not even in the service in 1996....you have problems with fontenelle...charles...now joseph.cant st lucia see the real problem?

    (6)(6)
    • Why not just ask your governments( plural) to fix the problems.. Thats the simplest solution.. we are not here arguring for salary increases..

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  7. Felix wants to blame all fire chiefs for him not being promoted. But he dont realize he won't get anywhere with that attitude. He blamed Fontenelle for everything now Joseph. When Fontenelle was there Felix said all the problems started from 2006. Now the problems are from four decades ago.
    Why would you call your superior a toothless tiger. No respect whatsoever. Dont worry the teeth will grow one day. Time will tell.

    (10)(7)

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