Fire chiefs meet on Saba | THE DAILY HERALD

 Fire chiefs with Governor Johnson

SABA–Fire chiefs of the Caribbean Netherlands, the Netherlands, Aruba, Curaçao and St. Maarten met on Saba on Thursday, March 12, and Friday, March 13, to further the cooperation between the fire departments within the Kingdom.

  In July 2018, the Ministers of Justice of the four countries in the Kingdom signed a cooperation agreement to exchange knowledge and experience, to offer mutual support, strengthening the quality of the fire departments, disaster management and crisis management.

  The individual commanders maintain their own responsibility, while acting as a portfolio holder to carrying out the different aspects of the collaboration agreement.  

  Since the signing of the agreement in Bonaire, the fire commanders are meeting four times a year to discuss the progress. The venue of these meetings alternates. Once per year, the fire commanders meet in the Netherlands, when the meeting is combined in the annual Fire Departments Congress. 

  The previous meeting was in St. Maarten late November 2019. This time it was the turn of the Caribbean Netherlands Fire Department BKCN to host the meeting, and it was unanimously decided to gather on Saba. This was the first time that the meeting took place on Saba since the intensifying of the collaboration mid-2018.

  On the first day of the meeting, the delegation had a meet and greet with Island Governor Jonathan Johnson. Discussed during the two-day meeting were, among other things, the Judicial Four-Day Consultation JVO, which took place in Curaçao in January this year; the state-of-affairs regarding the different portfolios of the collaboration agreement including mutual support, mobility, safety and expertise/knowledge; the possible participation at the World Police and Fire Games in Rotterdam in July/August 2021; and the Fire Department Academy. The two-day meeting also included an outside activity.

  Regular meetings between the fire commanders are important, also because of the increased safety risks in the Caribbean region such as hurricanes and earthquakes. Solid preparation is essential and cooperation between the fire departments, but also with the other stakeholders, is a key element in this. 

  The Fire Departments within the Kingdom need each other during times of crisis or a disaster, and providing mutual assistance when this is needed is cardinal. In that sense, it is important that the Fire Departments know each other well. That is why the Fire Departments are investing in intensifying the cooperation in areas such as joint training, joint education and helping each other in cases of large incidents.

Source: The Daily Herald