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Fire Service hit by sick out bug

CARLOS ATWELL, ​[email protected]

Fire Service hit by sick out bug

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A MAJOR SICK-OUT is affecting the Barbados Fire Service, but Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite is not raising any alarms over it.

Reports reaching the DAILY NATION told of a severe shortage of manpower following about 20 officers going on sick leave since last Friday.

The issue appears to stem from officers’ claims of being overworked as well as a rift with senior management.

Less than a month ago, Chief Fire Officer Errol Maynard was in the media saying the fire service was not recruiting as they already had more than 200 officers and were about to embark on an auxiliary fire officer training programme.

A source in the department said yesterday that as a result of the shortage, office staff were trying to keep the stations running.

The source added some officers had been working “38 to 48 hours straight”.


However, Brathwaite told the DAILY NATION while he was told there was an issue with sick leave, it had not compromised the work of the fire service.

“The fire chief told me all stations were up all this week. I am told there is some concern that 20 or so fire officers called in ill and I’m going to speak to the chief [again about that], but he assured me that our responsibility to our citizenry has not been reduced during the course of the week,” he added. (CA)