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Government is looking to establish a permanent facility to house the Saint Lucia Fire Service (SLFS), National Security and Home Affairs Minister Hermangild Francis has said.
Speaking to the media on Thursday before the second sitting of the Upper House, Francis said he has met with the management and staff of the SLFS and that is one of the issues discussed.
At present, the government pays $70,000 monthly for the building currently being occupied by the SLFS at Manoel Street, Castries, which the minister admits is exorbitant.
However, he said “that is what we have for now but going forward we have to give them a better facility. The cost is not that important its getting the officers productive and comfortable.”
The former government had engaged the services of Local Partnerships, a UK based company, in 2015 to undertake a thorough review of the SLFS following several demands.
The team was tasked with conducting an assessment of the organisational structure of the SLFS and recommend on the optimum structure and configuration for a modern, efficient Fire Service.
However, the Saint Lucia Fire Service Association had complained about the former government dragging their feet, but is now hopeful that the new minister will treat the outstanding issues with some urgency.
The SLFS has been faced with a number of issues, which led to industrial action in 2014 and the eventual removal of the former Fire Chief Leslie Fontenelle.
Francis said that his government will work closely with the SLFS to ensure that the necessary changes are made.