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Fire & Rescue officers applaud post-Irma support session

- public officers being encouraged to attend
Zebalon A. McLean, Fire Chief stated that the support sessions were beneficial because it allowed them to share their experiences with someone else and not feel left out or alone. Photo: GIS
Virgin Islands Fire and Rescue during the first support sessions. Photo: GIS
Virgin Islands Fire and Rescue during the first support sessions. Photo: GIS
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI - The Virgin Islands Fire and Rescue officers are recommending the Project Uplifting group support sessions offered specifically for public officers.

This initiative was implemented following the passage of Hurricane Irma, which destroyed the territory two months ago, leaving persons in grief and desperation.

The support sessions are coordinated by the Employee Relations Unit of the Department of Human Resources, and provide an interactive support movement for public officers to aid in post Hurricanes Irma and Maria recovery.

The group support sessions utilises a spiritual and therapeutic approach, to assist participants in the healing process. It also relies on interactive exchange and breakout sessions. Participants are led on a journey which positively examines trauma, reactions to trauma and its major symptoms.

More support for programme

In an exclusive interview with Fire Chief, Zebalon A. McLean, he expressed that he wished the programme coordinators received more support in starting the sessions earlier.

"It was beneficial in that as you know mostly men tend to keep things bottled up inside and no matter how much we are adamant about doing that and no matter how much we consider it to be something that we should do, it is really not healthy," explained the Fire Chief.

He further stated that the sessions allowed his team members to express their experiences and try to "distress" because they were finally able to talk to somebody else, while adding that everyone in the group was able to identify with other persons and no one felt left out.

Mr McLean told our news reporter that his team was one of the first groups to start the programme, seeing that they were the first group to respond following the hurricane.

Fire Officer 53 Stephen Chinnery, shared that the session was riveting and very much needed. “It’s a beautiful thing.  Everybody needs this additional help. Persons are suffering with a lot of things they won’t be able to explain. I think a lot more of these sessions need to be implemented and this was a positive start.”

Fire Officer 31 Nathan McClean said, “The session was uplifting and allowed everyone to express themselves. I think everybody came out with a more uplifted outlook on life post Hurricane Irma and what happened after the storm.

The first responder added, “Even though there is a lot of damage and a lot of loss, we still have life; we still can do, we still can go on; we still will rebuild. BVI Strong!”

7 Responses to “Fire & Rescue officers applaud post-Irma support session”

  • dd (07/11/2017, 18:50) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Good show
  • great (07/11/2017, 19:31) Like (0) Dislike (3) Reply
    Tata. At least all haters were on board loving each other until all hell break lose sooner rather than later. Position, higher pay,etc.Remember the golden text verse: We must love one another.Please stay strong and don't allow any Jezebel spirits to come between you all.
  • jamgirl (07/11/2017, 21:32) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    Love the fire men ,they are very nice Mr Walter, Mr McLean, Mr Penn ,Mr Jeffers you and your team mates are doing a good job kudos keep it up
  • Kudos to the fire Dept. (08/11/2017, 07:16) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    Fire department deserve a lot of credit. The first persons I saw early that thurday morning after Irma in my yard different from my neighbors were fire men led by Mr. Penn asking me how things.?.When i say to them my vehicle glass mash up, they say to me, take a walk uptown and you will see cars that mash up, They have been patrolling the streets streets from early morning and when i did take a walk uptown, whay I saw tears came from my Eyes.. My little damage was minor, I considered myself lucky though my window glass got mash up my car was drivable....Let's give some love to the Fire dept..
  • VictimiSation (08/11/2017, 07:32) Like (0) Dislike (7) Reply
    Mcclean talk so much I am surprised mark aint get red of he
  • Yeah Fire (08/11/2017, 11:13) Like (6) Dislike (1) Reply

    The Chief need to congratulate Mr. Penn and dem couple of officers. It was a female officer and a few firemen. I had see after the Hurricane. They were the only few officers we saw over and over and over and out telling us bout jose on the speaker. KUDOS Mr. Penn who seemed to be leading the team. I even see dem man cleaning the high school too. They was wuking real hard. rescuing people, asking people how we were doing, like they care more for us than themselves.. Nice of dem. Dem few officers need to really be recognise. YEAH FIRE, go fire.

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