By Steve Thomas Observer Nevis Editor
(Newcastle, Nevis) ” The man in charge of the St. Kitts and Nevis Fire and Rescue Services is calling on the Federation’s youth to look at public service as a career. “I want to appeal to the young people of St. Kitts and Nevis to seek employ with the fire and rescue” services or any department of national security, including prisons, police and national defense force,” Mr. Hester Rawlins, head of the St. Kitts and Nevis Fire and Rescue Services,” said in an interview with The Observer. The basic requirements to join the service are to be between the ages of 18-35, in general good health and be able to pass an entrance examination, Mr. Rawlins said. “The most important thing is to be of good character,” he said. Last week, Mr. Rawlins was on Nevis for a ceremony marking the receipt of a new fire tender for the Vance Amory International Airport. There he assured his men stationed on Nevis that the shortage of manpower would be addressed before year end. “I want to give my ministry’s commitment that the manpower problem on Nevis will be improved later this year when our basic training course is completed,” he said. He also addressed the issue of training which he said was critical to the fire fighting service and urged the authorities to treat it with some degree of seriousness. “Preventative maintenance is critical to the life of this crash tender. I urge the authorities to treat this as a matter with some degree of seriousness. The Fire Services will continue to give support in this area. Let us recognise the impact that security and safety plays in the economic development of our Federation,” he said. The Head of the Federation’s Fire Services pointed to training that his men had received earlier this year when four officers had successfully completed Aircraft Rescue Fire Fighting training in Toronto Canada and one was stationed in Nevis. Mr. Rawlings applauded the Nevis Island Administration for its decision to purchase a fire tender and described it as a correct decision. “There are times decisions are made that are not popular even though they are correct. To the Honourable Premier and cabinet, your decision to purchase a crash tender was absolutely correct and you deserve a round of applause,” he said.