Press Release

Fire and Rescue Service
Release Date:
Monday, 7 September 2015 - 6:15pm

Seven Virgin Islands Fire and Rescue officers have been deployed to assist with recovery efforts in Dominica for a period of seven days.

The contingent is comprised of officers Marcus Malone, Gaston Walters, Joseph Graham, Cuthbert Roberson, Rico Penn, Nathan McLean and Travon Gumbs. The officers left on September 7 and will be accompanied by Dr. Nicholas Redhead, pathologist at the New Peebles Hospital and will be accommodated at the Dominica Fire and Rescue Services Department.

At the Third Sitting of the First Session of the Third House of Assembly on September 3, Premier and Minister of Finance, Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith stated, “As we all know, on August 27, Tropical Storm Erika passed through the Caribbean leaving a path of destruction in its wake. Several islands were affected by the storm with the most destructive and widespread damage to our sister country of Dominica.”

Premier Smith added, “The Government of the Virgin Islands recognises that regional support for the Government and people of Dominica is critical, and it has pledged to do its part to assist during this difficult time.”

The Premier made a public appeal to the people of the Territory to support any fundraising efforts that were organised to assist those affected by the storm. He said the people of the Virgin Islands are a giving people and along with donations, which are critical in helping Dominica rebuild, the BVI Community has also provided human resources to aid in the relief efforts.

Other officers deployed to Dominica include health personnel from the BVI Nurses Association and staff from the Department of Disaster Management (DDM).

Premier Smith has expressed pleasure in the Virgin Islands Fire and Rescue Department for answering the call and joining the relief support.

The Premier joined the regional and international communities in a demonstration of solidarity for the Government and the people of the Commonwealth of Dominica, and pledged US$100,000.00 towards the relief efforts in rebuilding the island.

He said that the island has a history of resilience and it is encouraging to see the quick and remarkable efforts by the people of Dominica to begin the recovery process.

This relief support was coordinated by then Ag. Chief Fire Officer, Mr. William Penn and is a joint effort of The Ministry of Communications and Works and the Regional Association of Chief Fire Officers.

Note to Editors:

Tropical Storm Erika dumped in excess of ten inches of rainfall over a six-hour period on August 27 and caused mudslides and widespread damage. The storm devastated the island leaving over 20 people dead, and over 50 missing. Several communities remain cut off from the rest of the island while a number of locations have been declared special disaster areas. Residents of the community of Petite Savanne have been ordered to evacuate with immediate effect.



Ms. Natalie Hodge

Deputy Chief Information Officer
Telephone:  468-3701 ext. 2731 (desk)