A businessman and former teacher, who said on national television that firemen are not important and a country could run without firemen, is now eager to restore his reputation after the video went viral.
Fidel Esnard, 36, of Odsan, said his comment was a “failed attempt at sarcasm”.
On a recent episode of the popular nightly feature called Street Vibes on DBS, reporter Alex Bousquet asked “… The firemen are on strike what do you think about that?”
Esnard was one of several persons who responded. He said: “I don’t believe firemen are important. I believe a country could be run without firemen, an airport could be run without firemen, buildings could burn in St. Lucia without firemen, people could get heart attacks and nobody needs a fireman.”
The video has since gone viral with many people ridiculing Esnard. Some have questioned his mental health.
However, in an exclusive interview with St. Lucia News Online today, Sept. 4, Esnard stressed that he was being sarcastic in an effort to get his point across.
“I want the firemen to be focused on, not me. I was just a vehicle to open the discussion,” he said.
He continued: “Let me explain my failed attempt at sarcasm. My mindset was on the fact that the airports and seaports are still running, and also businesses are open. The country could be shut down because of the strike, because if God forbids something happens, who will be there to handle it? Therefore, since the country is not shut down, it would seem like firemen are not needed. That’s what I was coming around to establishing.”
Esnard said he did not have enough time to “expand”. He said his statement on DBS was only the “intro”.
Esnard said he was a teacher for 10 years. He currently owns a photography business in Castries.
A number of firemen across the island have been on strike since Monday in protest of what they describe as the authorities’ failure to address longstanding issues within the Fire Service.
Esnard said he has a brother in the Fire Service, hence his concern about the issue.
He described the situation as a “slippery slope right now”.
“It seems like it is almost impossible for the firemen to get across to the powers that be, so I am thinking the public can try to get to the authorities,” he pointed out.
He concluded by reiterating: “As for me I would like my reputation to be cleared and I understood.
I say this still with the intention not to be solely focused on me.”