May 10, 2021

New Chief Appointed At Cayman Islands Fire Service

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fre-big-crestAfter an extensive and comprehensive recruitment process, the Ministry of Home Affairs is delighted to announce the appointment of Mr David Hails as Chief Fire Officer in the Cayman Islands Fire Service (CIFS). Mr Hails will commence a three year tour of duty in this nationally critical role on 1 February 2016.
In announcing the appointment, Chief Officer Eric Bush said, “We are very pleased to have contracted with someone of Mr. Hails’ calibre for this post and we share the same goal – to transform the CIFS into a centre of excellence and develop a pool of highly qualified, experienced and capable local officers who can rise to the call for leadership in the future with pride and confidence.”
Mr. Hails’ appointment has been endorsed by the Deputy Governor and Head of the Civil Service, the Honourable Franz Manderson, who acknowledged that the Ministry made every effort to appoint a Caymanian to this role. “In selecting Mr. Hails, they have chosen a recognised professional with the necessary qualifications, experience and track record to implement Succession Planning in the CIFS which will ensure that Caymanians are well prepared and qualified to undertake leadership roles in the future.”
“We have been striving for almost two years to recruit a suitable person as Fire Chief. I have been adamant that we should endeavor to appoint a Caymanian and I am fully aware of the means taken by the Ministry to do so,” said Premier Alden McLaughlin. “Unfortunately, that has not been possible at this time, which I find most disappointing. I am satisfied, however, that someone of Mr. Hails’ calibre and experience will provide the required leadership of the fire service at this point. I believe that his recruitment will enable the future training and upskilling of Caymanian fire officers and that before long there will be a cadre of Caymanian officers capable of assuming the helm of this essential service.”
Mr. Hails has stated that having had the privilege of training many officers from the CIFS during the 8 years that he was employed with the Serco International Fire Training Centre, he has a great admiration for the work that they carry out and is honoured to have been given this opportunity. “I am committed to developing the CIFS into an organization that the citizens and the Government of the Cayman Islands can be proud of.”

In February 2014 the Ministry of Home Affairs advertised the post of Chief Fire Officer after assuming responsibility for the Fire Service in July 2013. After 21 months and two subsequent rigorous recruitment exercises, the selection panel has successfully recruited a new Chief who possesses the combination of qualifications, skill and experience required to take the helm.
Mr. Hails is a highly qualified fire service professional with 39 years’ experience managing large airport and structural fire stations at numerous locations around the world. In addition, he has extensive experience dealing with crisis management situations, teaching leadership and management at an advanced level and training senior fire officers from around the world, including the Cayman Islands. He also specializes in Task and Resource Analysis and Risk Assessment.

Mr. Hails has been recognised as having an exemplary record throughout his fire service career and has been acknowledged for displaying outstanding qualities in incident command, leadership, management, HR, organisation and communication. This led him to be selected to serve as a Leadership and Management Instructor with the high profile Royal Air Force School of Leadership & Management and to a secondment with the Ministry of Defence Fire Service Central Training Establishment as a Fire Service Trainer.

Those who have worked with and supervised Mr. Hails during his career have described him as a reliable, versatile, innovative, hardworking, honest, adaptable accomplished leader with high standards, excellent behavior and integrity that is second to none. All were confident in his ability to have a prompt, positive operational impact on the Cayman Islands Fire Service.
Mr. Hails will be participating in a familiarisation visit organised by the Ministry during the week of 7 December to meet CIFS staff and other critical stakeholders and pave the way for his start in the New Year.

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