Information Officer II
Department of Information & Public Relations
Mr. Colin Graham who served as Chief Fire Officer of the Virgin Islands Fire and Rescue Service from 1985 to1989 will be laid to rest in the United Kingdom today, February 8.
Mr. Graham was a key player in the creation of the structure of the fire department after it was separated from the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force in 1985.
Chief Fire Officer, Mr. Zebalon McLean paid tribute to the late fire chief and said Mr. Graham set the standard for the Territory’s fire services, and helped mold the service.
Mr. McLean said, “We are grateful for his influence that molded us, beginning in 1985, and which continues to shape and guide our organisation on the principles of discipline and service to others.”
He added, “It is to his hard work and his sacrifices, to his perseverance and his strong will, that we continue to represent our noble profession, to carry on from his fine example, and, in each of our tenures, to finish the job he so ably had begun.”
As a mark of respect and appreciation, three ranks of senior and junior officers were formed, and the fire flag was lowered to half-mast on the day of Mr. Graham’s passing. The flag remains at half-mast until February 9, the day after his funeral.
Mr. Graham in a message on the 25th anniversary of the fire department in October 2011 wrote, “With the co-operation of the variously appropriate BVI Government civil servants and politicians and the able support of the two Police Firemen, Kellman and Stoutt, I produced the necessary enabling legislation for its passage through Legislative Council, structured and adopted a locally relevant financial structure and budget for the department.”
Mr. Graham continued that he along with the assistance of others, “recruited and started the initial training of both full and part-time fire fighters, agreed a longer-term development plan to provide the service to cover all the islands to an appropriate level and finally specified and acquired a number of new modern fire appliances and equipment and operational premises.”
The Virgin Islands Fire and Rescue Service extends sincerest condolences to the family of the late former Chief Fire Officer, Mr. Colin Graham.