New interim fire chief officially on duty

Interim Chief Fire Officer Paul Walker inspects Fire Service trucks.

Cayman’s new interim chief fire officer, Paul Walker, is officially on the job.

Walker, the former chief fire officer at the Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service in the United Kingdom, took up office last Monday.

He replaced former Fire Chief David Hails, who was appointed in 2016. Government did not renew Hails’ contract earlier this year.

A Government Information Services media statement Friday announced Walker’s addition to the local Fire Service team. It said during his first week, he met with fire officers at all five fire stations across the three islands “to kick off his familiarisation with the Fire Service and the community”.

His term will run for 12 months, while the three recently appointed deputy chief fire officers, Roy Charlton, Brevon Elliott and Tina Choy, continue with their individualised plans for professional development.

According to GIS, in his address to fire officers, Walker said, “My main focus during my time here is to help progress the careers of all fire officers.”

He added, “I want to impart my 30 years of fire and rescue experience to help grow and develop our officers to enable them to take on more senior positions with confidence.”

In a joint statement, Walker’s deputies welcomed him to the Fire Service.

They said are looking “forward to learning from his many years of experience and working together to achieve our goal of creating a world-class fire service. His arrival allows us to direct our full attention to a number of important projects already under way, including our own professional development”.

Ministry of Financial Services and Home Affairs Chief Officer Dax Basdeo assured succession planning for the Fire Service remains the objective.

He said, “A significant amount of investment has already been made in succession planning within the Fire Service and we hope Paul’s appointment will give our senior officers the time and mentoring they require to prepare them for the next stage of their careers.”

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