Mr. D. Randy Rankin has been selected as the designate Chief Fire Officer (CFO), following a rigorous and highly competitive recruitment process led by the Ministry of Home Affairs.
The recruitment exercise entailed a series of assessments, including submission of a ministerial briefing paper; leading an in-studio multi-agency media/press briefing (simulating a major incident); delivering a presentation on the key challenges facing the department; and answering questions posed by an interview panel.
Acting Chief Officer for the Ministry of Home Affairs, Michael Ebanks, said, “It has never been clearer just how important the Fire Service is to the prosperity and resilience of our Islands. Our fire fighters are always poised to push the boundaries on modernisation to protect, rescue, and save lives. So it’s a privilege for the ministry to nominate a Caymanian to continue leading the Fire Service in pursuit of that mission.”
Deputy Governor and Head of the Civil Service, Hon. Franz Manderson, said “The Fire Service has continued to invest in the professionalisation of its workforce and it’s paying dividends. Mr. Rankin has demonstrated his versatility as a leader in the emergency management space and as a first responder who serves the public with an obvious sense of urgency and passion. I call on the entire Fire Service and public to support Mr. Rankin in his new role and to join me in celebrating the appointment of a Caymanian as the next Chief Fire Officer.”
Mr. Rankin has been at the forefront of fire-rescue and national emergency management, frequently overseeing major operational incidents on land and on the ocean. With 28 years’ experience and training, Mr. Rankin has contributed to the implementation of strategic policies related to Home Affairs, including the establishment of the CIFS Inshore/Maritime Search & Rescue Unit, working in collaboration with the Cayman Islands Coast Guard and UK Navy. He was also instrumental in delivering other policies such as the amalgamation of the 911/Fire dispatch to improve response, coordination, and safety in conjunction with the Department of Public Safety Communications. Recently, Mr. Rankin has also helped to advance regional cooperation opportunities for the Cayman Islands, serving as the Deputy Chair of the UK Overseas Territories Search & Rescue Committee.
Outgoing Chief Fire Officer Paul Walker QFSM said, ‘As a panelist, I was impressed with all of the candidates and will continue for the remainder of my tenure with the CIFS to provide direct support for each in respect of their personal development. In conjunction with other senior managers, I am looking forward to working even more closely with Mr. Rankin to progress the department’s identified priorities, projects and activities together with the ministry.”
Over the next 6 months, Mr. Rankin will work closely with Mr Walker and alongside CIFS senior managers, in tandem with the ministry’s executive team, to align the department’s strategic plans with the Government’s new budget and strategic broad outcomes. Key responsibilities will entail assessing emerging risks to better inform policy decisions, strengthen operational governance, and drive administrative efficiencies. Mr. Rankin will also continue building strategic partnerships locally and overseas to advance the Fire Service’s programme of employee engagement and talent management.
Additionally, Mr. Rankin will support the ministry to advance policies related to enhancing pathways to careers in public safety through collaborations with youth leadership organisations such as the Cayman Islands Cadet Corps.
“As part of the Fire Service’s evolving mission to prepare for, prevent, mitigate and respond to all hazards, I look forward to working alongside my colleagues, our partners, and community members to tackle several strategic priorities,” Mr. Rankin said. “I am proud to be a part of an experienced and dynamic team of fire-rescue and public safety professionals. Together we will work tirelessly for the people of the Cayman Islands, strengthening our culture of safety, investing in the professionalism of our fire fighters, and embracing service innovation – all while ensuring that we retain the traditions of the Fire Service which are the source of much pride for so many.”