Prime Minister Jacobs gives update on firefighter situation

December 5, 2022 10:54 am

Firefighters to be relocated on Monday

PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten — Prime Minister and Minister of General Affairs Silveria Jacobs continues to hold open dialogue with WICSU-PSU and the firefighters about measures enacted to address the concerns expressed by the firefighters since their meeting with the Prime Minister on October 28, 2022.

In the letter sent by Prime Minister Jacobs, she outlined the measures taken in November and to date. The mold has been removed in the Fire and Ambulance building, and other measures to continuously maintain a mold-free environment. In addition, scheduled maintenance has been increased and takes place weekly.

This week there will be a full replacement of the air handlers servicing their floor, which will prove to hamper the operations of the Firefighters. As the work cannot be executed without obstructing the workers, the firefighters will be relocated for the maintenance, which is expected to last twelve days. The upgrades in the HVAC system are the responsibility of SOG and they have guaranteed that the work to be executed will vastly improve airflow, temperature control as well as mitigate any future reoccurrence of situations that could negatively impact the firefighters’ health.

“The Firemen's concerns are my concerns. We continue to have an open-door policy with WICSU-PSU and continue to improve communication internally. The firefighters are not forgotten, the mold issue has been dealt with, as it was a top priority, and the Government is working diligently with SOG to improve the safety and security concerns. The health of our first responders is paramount and the processes are being accelerated as much as possible, and therefor ask for patience, as we execute what was promised.” said Prime Minister Jacobs.