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Montevideo, April 16th 2024 - 22:53 UTC



Falklands government thanks those involved in the Sea Lion island fire rescue operation

Monday, March 18th 2024 - 08:29 UTC
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(Pic Falkland Islands Fire & Rescue Service) (Pic Falkland Islands Fire & Rescue Service)

The Falkland Islands government Chief Executive, Andy Keeling in an open statement has thanked all those involved in the response to the Sea Lion Island fire since Friday 8 March.

 “A great deal of our emergency services relies on volunteers who dedicate their evenings and weekends to training for difficult situations. It is not until we have an emergency such as this, where we really see how critical volunteers are to the response to these incidents. 14 men and women from the Fire and Rescue Service were based at Sea Lion since Saturday 9 March. Rotating shifts to ensure that everyone has had time to rest.

”Five members of the FIDF supported the team on Sea Lion Island, providing vital logistical support to the firefighting team.

“All of these people have had to leave their families and work to dedicate time to fight the fire. I’m very grateful to those families and employers for allowing them to do so.

”The team at FIGAS maintained their regular flights but ensured that there were dedicated flights to the Island to move not only people but vital freight as well. I would like to thank the public for being understanding during this time especially if their flight may have been delayed.

“The crew of FPV Lilibet provided vital assistance to the Fire and Rescue Service in moving the heavy equipment that was unable to be loaded onto FIGAS, meaning that all essential equipment was landed by Saturday afternoon.

”Not only were there people working on the ground, but there were a number of government officers who worked behind the scenes to ensure that our response was appropriate to the situation on the ground. Without the people behind the scenes our decision-making processes would not have been as well coordinated.

“The community also played a vital role during this response, from the volunteer cook who went to Sea Lion to relieve the pressure on cooking for a large number of people, to those in the community who donated food to be sent out to those on Sea Lion Island. All these additional efforts reinforce the community spirit that the Islands are renowned for.

”Our close working partnership that exists between FIG and the MOD was once again shown when the MOD in conjunction with Bristow, supported Falkland Islands firefighters on the ground by providing a helicopter and bambi bucket further enhancing the firefighting efforts. I’m grateful to the Bristow team for providing this support during their day off.

“The Island has now been returned back to the private sector, however, FIG will continue to support them during their recovery period.

I will end by repeating that I am very thankful to everyone who has been involved in the response to the Sea Lion Island fire. I hope that the volunteers are all able to have some well-deserved rest, and I wish those involved in the recovery of the Island the best of luck. I also encourage anyone who is considering to become a volunteer responder to do so, without our volunteers we would be unable to be as strong as we are in an emergency.”

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