On Tuesday December 19, 2023, Sir Arthur Lewis Community College (SALCC) and the Saint Lucia Fire Service (SLFS) formally signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to establish a collaborative framework aimed at advancing professional development training in the fields of Fire Fighting, Emergency Management, and Disaster Management and Response.
Signatories of the document included Chair of the SALCC Board of Directors Dr. Cletus Springer, SALCC Principal Dr. Madgerie Jameson-Charles and SLFS Chief Fire Officer Ditney Downes.
The key areas of collaboration defined in the MOU include:
- Course Development: SALCC and SLFS will jointly create educational materials to develop sustainable, professional development courses for SLFS staff.
- Pedagogical Training: SALCC will provide educational training to instructors at the SLFS training academy to enhance the quality of training delivered.
- Adherence to Standards: Both institutions commit to maintaining fire-fighting training standards set by organizations such as the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), and International Fire Service Training Association (IFSTA).
- Certification of Courses: SALCC will certify all professional development courses developed through this collaboration.
Commenting on the partnership, Dr. Jameson-Charles stated, “The Sir Arthur Lewis Community College and Saint Lucia Fire Service joined forces to develop a competent workforce with the knowledge, skills and attitudes needed to ensure that the Fire Service has the regional and international advantage.”
Chief Fire Officer Downes expressed optimism about the collaboration, stating: “This MOU aims to provide essential theoretical knowledge to the men and women of the Fire Service, in order to sufficiently prepare them to be able to perform effectively in their current posts and prepare them for upward mobility. This aspect will go hand in hand with the proposed practical training facility that is proposed to be constructed in the south of the island.”
The MOU, which is effective immediately, will remain in force for five years. Both SALCC and SLFS affirm their dedication to the success of this collaboration and look forward to the fruits of this partnership.