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CIFS New Deputies Announced

The Ministry of Financial Services and Home Affairs is pleased to announce the appointment of three Caymanians as the new Deputy Chief Fire Officers for the Cayman Islands Fire Service (CIFS).

Mr. Roy Charlton is the Deputy Chief Fire Officer for Domestic; Mr. Brevon Elliot has been appointed to the role of Deputy Chief Fire Officer for Aviation and Ms. Tina Choy is the Deputy Chief Fire Officer for Administration. These senior officers were selected following the completion of a rigorous open recruitment exercise.

Chief Officer Dr. Dax Basdeo announced the promotions at a CIFS all-staff meeting on Thursday, 7 February 2019, which was also attended by the Hon Deputy Governor Franz Manderson.

The Home Affairs Ministry has been supporting the CIFS on its journey to becoming a world class uniformed service, an essential element of which has been a strategy to provide essential training opportunities with a focus on leadership development for those who have identified a wish to be taken on such roles within the organisation.

All three Deputies participated in the first round of coaching that was delivered by RESOLVE, a local company that the Ministry partnered with in early 2018 to assist personnel with the development of essential leadership and interpersonal skills.

In response to the announcement of the appointments, Minister for Financial Services and Home Affairs, Hon. Tara Rivers, said: “We are extremely pleased to have three experienced and highly capable Caymanian officers fill these critical senior management roles within the Fire Service. I am confident that they will continue to work hard, strive for excellence and be the ambassadors of our mission to develop and promote the highest quality of fire officers and create a world class fire service.”

In addition to coaching with RESOLVE, the successful candidates took advantage of a variety of leadership development opportunities provided by the Ministry, as well as several other training initiatives provided to civil servants, to strengthen their knowledge and skill-set before applying for their new roles.

As Deputy Chief Fire Officer - Domestic, Mr. Charlton will provide strategic direction for all domestic operations, and effectively manage and support operational personnel. He will also assume the role of Incident Commander as required and be responsible for the provision of an inshore marine search and rescue.

Having served with CIFS for 31 years, primarily in the Domestic Division, Mr. Charlton is passionate about the organisation and the function that it plays in the community. With a degree in public administration, he continues to further his rescue and fire-fighting knowledge by completing a number of technical training courses, primarily focused on incident command, mass casualty management and emergency response.

Within his new role as Deputy Chief Fire Officer - Aerodrome, Mr. Elliot will lead and provide strategic direction for all aerodrome fire services, and ensure the division is effectively managed, equipped, staffed, trained and operational in accordance with the various statutory requirements.

Mr. Elliott is an academically and technically accomplished fire officer who has spent the last few years working primarily in Fire Safety and Inspections. He has a bachelor’s degree in business administration and is currently pursuing a further degree in fire science. When previously acting in his new role, Mr. Elliott worked closely with the Aerodrome Team to develop programmes to address all deficiencies in training and competency.

Ms. Choy has had a wide-ranging career with the CIFS having served for more than 21 years in many areas including Domestic Operations, Fire Prevention and Investigations, and most recently, acting as the Deputy Chief Fire Officer – Administration.

Her administrative responsibilities include monitoring of the CIFS budget; overseeing provision of Fire Prevention and Investigation services, fleet and facilities management; training and development and the development of policies and procedures to support the achievement of the aims and objectives of the CIFS.

Ms. Choy continues to invest in her fire service career, as she is currently enrolled in a degree programme majoring in Fire Administration and Fire Investigations.

In supporting the new appointments, Deputy Governor and Head of the Civil Service, Hon. Franz Manderson, said: “I commend the three officers for answering the call to serve in these key leadership positions within the Fire Service. We depend on the Fire Service, together with other first response agencies, to ensure the safety of the people of the Cayman Islands and its infrastructure. I am confident that Deputies Charlton, Elliot and Choy will continue to have a positive impact on the Fire Service, and drive the agency forward to achieve world-class status.”

Dr. Basdeo added that these internal promotions will create significant stability and support to all staff members and contribute to the success of the newly shaped organisation by fostering a culture of leadership development.

“As the Ministry continues to recruit qualified persons to fulfil other essential roles within the Fire Service we will ensure that officers continue to be provided with a variety of professional development opportunities so that they are well equipped to compete for promotional opportunities and can take on the same with pride and confidence.”

The CIFS recruitment interview panel included the CEO of the Cayman Islands Airport Authority, Albert Anderson and retired Fire Chief, Jeffrey Piechura, who successfully led several fire agencies in the U.S. during his career. The Ministry was represented by the Chief Officer, Dr. Basdeo and the Acting Chief HR Officer, Dr. Josette Kimlon Lawrence.

All three fire officers took up their new posts on 4th March 2019.

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