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'Properties valuable, people invaluable, protect both' - Fire Chief

Chief Fire Officer Zebalon A. McLean said he is thankful that the Anegada community is now equipped with a fire truck to help them 'protect their valuable infrastructure and properties and the invaluable people over there.' Photo: VINO/File
One of the vehicles donated to the VI Fire and Rescue by the United Kingdom (UK) government. Photo: VINO
One of the vehicles donated to the VI Fire and Rescue by the United Kingdom (UK) government. Photo: VINO
ROAD TOWN Tortola VI - After a long stretch of period of having to work with makeshift equipment to perform fire and rescue services on the island of Anegada, firefighters are in a much more comfortable situation with the acquisition of a new fire truck.

It is not as big and modern as they would have preferred but at least it is said to be sufficient to take on sizable situations and more so places residents and visitors to the island in a much better place should there be a fire on the island.

The fire truck is one of two pieces of equipment donated by the United Kingdom to the Fire and Rescue Services of the Virgin Islands (VI), which falls under the capable supervisory and management of Fire and Rescue Chief Mr Zebalon A. McLean.

Anegada made safer

Mr McLean has always been very vocal in highlighting the strengths of his fire and rescue officers but also the deficiencies of their fleet and other equipment and facilities.

Contacted about the donation of equipment by the United Kingdom, Mr McLean expressed gratitude, noting that with a fire truck now stationed at Anegada valuable properties and an invaluable people are in a better place of safety.

"We do need to protect every community and we need to remember all of them every day," said the fire chief.

He further explained, "We have been having issues with the trucks for quite a number of years, unfortunately, with some many of them getting old and having to be put out of service. We haven't been able to replace them as quickly as we would like.”

Commenting on Anegada now being given a fire tender, Mr McLean said it is a big accomplishment since the community has been “sadly disadvantaged by not having enough equipment."

McLean described Anegada as one of the territory's treasures. "It is one of our high tourist destinations it has some wonderful natural features and I believe if we put a little more into it we can get a lot more people going over there."

He said that he is thankful that the Anegada community is now equipped with a fire truck to help them “protect their valuable infrastructure and properties and the invaluable people over there."

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