Church service held in honor of Fire Fighters

POSTED: 03/28/11 4:46 PM

St. Maarten – A church service was held at the St. Martin of Tours Roman Catholic Church on Front Street Sunday in honor of fire fighters as part of Fireman’s Week celebrations. Governor Eugene Holiday, Acting Governor Reynold Groeneveldt, Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams, Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labor Cornelius de Weever, Fire Chief Winston Salomon and Commandant of the St. Maarten Voluntary Corps (VKS) Jean Illidge joined parishioners and other dignitaries for the service. 

Fire fighters actively took part in the service with the reading of scriptures, collecting the offering and two fire fighters rendered a well-known song of praise. Fire Chief Winston Salomon addressed the congregation and thanked them for their support and attendance at the service.

The next main event of Firemen’s Week is a Firemen’s Uniformed Parade on Friday, April 1 beginning in the morning at the old fire depot in Philipsburg. It will be the department’s first parade as the country’s fire brigade. A Firemen’s Ball is slated for April 2 and will take place at Port de Plaisance in Cole Bay at 7:00 p.m. 

The Fire Fighters Foundation is the body responsible for organizing the various events around Fireman’s Week and through fund-raising efforts throughout the year seeks sponsorship for its activities. During the past weeks fire fighters have been kept very busy in dealing with large bush fires due to the dry weather conditions. Officers work around the clock to keep our nation safe from peril and responding to emergencies.

The Fire Department falls under the Ministry of General Affairs with the prime minister politically responsible for the service. Wescot Williams told the Department of Communications (DCOMM) on Sunday that fire fighters put the safety of others ahead of their own and we must do our part in reducing fire risks for ourselves and those who are called upon to protect us in the event of fire or a threat of such. 

Several young persons have joined the ranks of firefighter in recent times, allowing the more senior officers to focus on training and guiding the recent entrants.

The prime minister added that she is impressed by the dedication and work of the island’s first responders in the event of a fire or other disaster and congratulates them on their national Firemen’s Week.

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