(St. Lucia News Online) — The Saint Lucia Fire Service is mourning the death of retired Chief Fire Officer Primus Duplesis.
He passed away at his residence in Piaye, Laborie on Monday, May 4, 2020.
He was 78.
According to the Fire Service, Duplesis enlisted into the Royal St. Lucia Police Force in 1959 but was transferred shortly after to the then Fire Brigade.
He attained the rank of sergeant in 1972/73 and successfully completed a course of study in the United Kingdom, which entailed aspects of fire vehicle and equipment maintenance and repair, domestic, and industrial fire suppression, aerodrome firefighting and rescue, and fire prevention and protection, the Fire Service said.
Duplesis rose quickly through the ranks of the department, according to the Fire Service: appointed acting divisional officer of the Southern Division in 1977, acting deputy chief fire officer in 1980, and chief fire officer in 1981.
“During his time in the Fire Service, he solicited the support of the Local Partners of America in securing a trainer who spent many weeks in Saint Lucia, training to officers to be ambulance emergency first responders. He was also instrumental in the erection of the two airport fire stations, under the Canadian assistance programme,” the Service said.
Duplesis is credited for having introduced the “first Fire Service insurance plan” and was a member of various committees on disaster emergency management and mitigation.
He retired in 1996.