Attorney General and Minister of Home Affairs, Adriel Brathwaite (centre), poses with the six fire officers who received the Humanitarian Award at the Barbados Fire Service’s Awards Ceremony at the Accra Beach Resort and Spa on Thursday. (C.Pitt/BGIS)

The Barbados Fire Service (BFS) is embarking on a new era in which excellence and professionalism are the buzz words. And, Chief Fire Officer, Errol Maynard, has warned that the BFS will not be accepting or rewarding mediocrity.

He made this declaration as he addressed an awards ceremony for outstanding Fire Officers at the Accra Beach Resort and Spa on Thursday night.

“Mediocrity is a poison that kills success and destroys professionalism. We are on a path to success, professionalism and excellence, and I want you to go there with me; I want you to go there with us.

“We want you to walk the road to success; we want you to ride the waves to professionalism; and we want you to help drive the bus of excellence. We want every member of the Barbados Fire Service on board,” Mr. Maynard stated.

The Fire Chief explained that he wanted to see professionalism demonstrated in how officers spoke, dressed and performed their duties. “If we seek success and strive for excellence, we will demonstrate professionalism,” he explained.

He noted that the award ceremony was a way of acknowledging and awarding officers for their hard work and dedication to a profession when no one stopped to stay “thank you”.

“Tonight we acknowledge your contribution to the people of Barbados in a special way. We want you to know that we care and appreciate the work that you do…. This evening we invited you to say a special ‘thank you’,” Mr. Maynard said.

However, he warned the awardees that the acknowledgment was not to say that they had arrived or had made it, but should be seen as encouragement and an opportunity to continue along a positive professional career path that led to excellence.

Among the top awardees were the six firemen – Gordon Boxill, Marlon Small, Carlos Bishop, Christopher Corbin, Fernando McAllister and Kelan McAlla – who journeyed to Dominica to aid in the rescue mission following the passage of Tropical Storm Erika last year. They each received the Humanitarian Award.

Meanwhile, Fire Prevention Officer, Natasha Forde, received a fitting birthday gift when she was named Fire Officer of the Year. She also received a Dedication to Service award.

The Chief Fire Officer’s Award went to Fire Officers Marlon Small and Terry “MacGuyver” Griffith, while the Bravery Award went to Fire Officers Pernel McClean and Reshelle Griffith. Fire Officer, Simon Bourne, captured the Innovation Award.

Acting Station Officer, Patrick Scantlebury; Acting Divisional Officer, Ormond Fenty; and Retired Station Officer, Gordon Boxill, each received an award for Outstanding Service.

The Pinnacle Award for the evening went to Acting Deputy Fire Chief, Lloydson Phillips; and Retired Fire Chief, Wilfred Marshall.

Eight Fire Officers received Dedication Awards, while the Barbados Postal Service and Network Services, who work closely with the BFS, each received an Appreciation Award.

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