News Release

CDB and GOSL Sign Agreement for USD11 Million Upgrade of Saint Lucia Fire and Emergency Department

Published on
Five people including the VPO of the Caribbean Development Bank Isaac Solomon and the president of Saint Lucia Phillip J Pierre are standing holding folders

Work to upgrade the emergency response capabilities of the Saint Lucia Fire and Emergency Department will begin next month following the signing of a USD11 million agreement between the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and the Government of Saint Lucia (GOSLU) on Thursday, October 12.

The CDB in June approved the financing for the project to purchase fire trucks and other fire equipment, as well as provide training to improve skill levels, and psychosocial support to Saint Lucia Fire Service Officers impacted by traumatic events in the line of duty. The project was conceptualised against the backdrop of the increased weather hazards which place strain on the resources of the Saint Lucia Fire Service, including the Emergency Medical Services and their capacity to respond effectively to emergencies.

CDB Vice President of Operations, Isaac Solomon, noted that the Bank’s support will ensure that the Saint Lucia Fire Service is adequately equipped to manage emergency response.

“Projections suggest that future weather events will be even more frequent and extreme, because of the impacts of climate change and so building resilience in emergency services at this point is critical to preparation for what lies ahead. This intervention will strengthen the resilience of the Fire Service and the EMS and strengthen the capacity of the Saint Lucia Fire Service to make emergency response more effective and efficient,” said Mr. Solomon.

He noted the complexity of creating a resilient region, adding that the multi-pronged approach chimes with the Bank’s thrust to provide holistic and sustainable development solutions.

“I am pleased to acknowledge the project’s focus on not just upgrading the Fire Services’ equipment, but also enhancing the mental health needs of first responders to ensure they are psychologically prepared to appropriately respond to emergency calls that help keep Saint Lucia safe. We are extremely delighted to join hands with the Government and the people of Saint Lucia in the ongoing thrust to protect lives and livelihoods and improve individual, community, and national social and economic wellbeing,” Mr. Solomon said.

Prime Minister of Saint Lucia, Honourable Philip J. Pierre expressed pleasure at the Bank’s sign-on to the country’s vision and philosophy.

“The CDB has been with us a very long time. The CDB has been doing development financing in the region for a long time. New organisations will come, but the CDB will remain. The CDB has proven itself in coming to the rescue in the region in times of need. It does not run away, and we must always remember our friends when things are bad. We must have a level of loyalty to institutions that remained with us after the hurricanes; after economic pressure and economic downturn, the CDB remained with us. I would like to thank the CDB officially,” Prime Minister Pierre said.

Friday, October 13 was the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction.