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SHAME! Hon Vanterpool regrets condition at Fire Station Building

- Building remains unsanitary since hurricanes Irma & Maria of 2017
The Virgin Islands Fire and Rescue Service building which was extensively damaged by hurricanes Irma and Maria of 2017, appears untouched with the exception of tarpaulin and plywood to support the structure. Photo: VINO
Minister for Communications and Works, Honourable Mark H. Vanterpool (R4) – in an attempt to damage control the situation – hastily called a press conference late Thursday afternoon, December 6, 2018 over the conditions at the Virgin Islands Fire and Rescue Service building. Photo: VINO
Minister for Communications and Works, Honourable Mark H. Vanterpool (R4) – in an attempt to damage control the situation – hastily called a press conference late Thursday afternoon, December 6, 2018 over the conditions at the Virgin Islands Fire and Rescue Service building. Photo: VINO
On November 28, 2018, Cabinet approved Quality Construction owned by Mr Roy Garraway, to be awarded the contract to fix the building. Photo: VINO
On November 28, 2018, Cabinet approved Quality Construction owned by Mr Roy Garraway, to be awarded the contract to fix the building. Photo: VINO
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI - With news of some 30 Fire and Rescue Officers working in unsanitary conditions at the Virgin Islands Fire and Rescue Service Building, Minister for Communications and Works, Honourable Mark H. Vanterpool (R4) — in an attempt to damage control the situation — hastily called a press conference late Thursday afternoon, December 6, 2018.

At the short press conference, while the Minister expressed regret at the situation and revealed some new measures to have the building repaired, very little has been done to properly investigate and address the reported state of officers who also fell ill at the facility.

Deep regrets

“Based on the news article, [we] do regret that it is taking so long to get the Fire Station repaired and restored and up back and running after hurricanes Irma and Maria last year,” Hon Vanterpool told the media.

“We wish that we were able to do it a lot sooner… but it took some time to get things in order to be able to get the Fire Station repaired and restored,” the Minister noted. 

In revealing the reason for the lengthy delay in remedial works, Hon Vanterpool said, “we felt that we wanted to do it a lot better and stronger,” while noting that he had no prior knowledge of the officers reported ill health status, and that same is now being investigated.

The building which was extensively damaged by hurricanes Irma and Maria of 2017, appears untouched with the exception of tarpaulins and plywood to support the structure.

In addition, the building has drains chiselled into the floor — a DIY attempt to drain water from sections during rains —  and the loose electrical fittings remain a safety hazard.

Unfortunate

“It is unfortunate it’s taking so long,” lamented the Minister, “We do take into consideration [what] the Chief and his fire officers have gone through… they have been very patient, they have had a lot of difficulties,” he said.

“We emphasize with them on what they have gone through and wish that they didn’t have to go through all that and we want to truly apologize to them… we want to assure them that we will be moving very quickly.”

On November 28, 2018, Cabinet approved Quality Construction owned by Mr Roy A. Garraway, to be awarded the contract to fix the building which the Minister said is likely to take about six months. The contract is now expected to commence on Saturday, December 8, 2018, pending signing.

For the officers at the Fire and Rescue Services Department, not a day has been easy since September 6, 2017. Coupled with the integral role they played in rescue services during and after the hurricanes of 2017, the department has faced several major occurrences including fires that further damaged their facilities.

8 Responses to “SHAME! Hon Vanterpool regrets condition at Fire Station Building ”

  • Xxx (08/12/2018, 01:02) Like (10) Dislike (1) Reply
    He is a failure
  • wize up (08/12/2018, 02:58) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    this current administration main focus is foreign investment: with all the so-called funds our people keep getting the short end of the stick: west end is a vital port of entery: west end police station: fire department(all of these facilities are essentially to the people of this territory): the public roads: the only public high school:
  • BRAD BOYNES (08/12/2018, 07:43) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    "while noting that he had no prior knowledge of the officers reported ill health status, and that same is now being investigated."
    Really!!!
    This goes to show that he and the others does not, does not care about the people they suppose to be serving. And when politicians begin to think that they know more than the people they serve, you get this type of lackadaisical attitude and behaviour and they want to justify it and want to gethe re-elected to continue the so so bull nonsense.
    • So Sickahim (08/12/2018, 10:18) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
      Mark cares about Mark. The infrastructure of a country says a lot about that country. If Mark cared our roads would not look like that, our essential workers would not be treated like that, our ghuts would be clear and not turned into deplorable garages, we would not have frequent water issues because our people’s health would be priority. Mark didn’t know about the officers’ health issues because he didn’t care to know.
  • wize up (08/12/2018, 08:27) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    one can always suspect when an election is around the corner in our country; in the territory or any other figure of speech you want to use: the amount of contracts on the drawing board: the amount of governmental press conferences: the amount of political hand-shakes; is mind blowing....but this happens just before an election...just putting that out there for your reference
  • Vg man (09/12/2018, 11:44) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    I don’t want to hear it, yall vote those crooks in so deal with it.
  • Halos and Pitchforks - who the cap fits... (11/12/2018, 15:08) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    This fire station was a shambles before the hurricanes of 2017. The Minister attended a ceremony there for new recruits and I held my head down in shame for him. There are horse stables and chicken coups and dog houses that are in much better condition than that place.

    Fire Officers need new/modern state of the art equipment; these are modern times, let us get with the program. I have a friend who has running water in his dog house, a solid roof and other amenities for his DOGS. Come on man.

    Irma and Maria are scapegoats in this instance and we need to stop blaming them for what they are not responsible for. If anything, they should be commended for taking the roof off of that garbage dump.

    I will not blame the Minister/Ministry only. I do not think that the Chief Fire Officer spends 15 hour shifts at the fire house; If he does he would have pushed harder for renovations long ago.

    To the fire officers who have had to endure this hardship, I say "God Bless you and protect you'. As a member of this community, I applaud you guys and girls for this sacrifice.


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