December 3, 2021

The Editor speaks: Fired or not fired he is leaving

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It was with no announcement by government that we learned Chief Fire Officer David Hails will be leaving us tomorrow (Thu 31).

We only learnt of his departure after seeing his post advertised in the print media.

We also learnt of it when members of the Public Accounts Committee asked questions about the payment Hails reportedly received before the end of his contract,

The amount? Very nearly $50,000. The large amount was apparently due to comp-time and vacation back-pay that he had accrued over his contract period. Apparently, the requirement in the Civil Service is for comp-time to be taken in lieu as days off over a given period and not as cash payment. I have not been able to confirm that.

Hailes appointment was heralded by much controversy being the first non-Caymanian to hold the Chief Fire Officer position.

And who will replace him temporarily after tomorrow?

There doesn’t seem to be an immediate successor.

Station Manager, Sherman Yates, would seem to be the logical choice as he has previously acted as chief fire officer.

No. Yates is also retiring tomorrow and has been on sick leave.

Human Resources department has confirmed Hales will be leaving tomorrow and suggested the firemen should “reach out to the Chief directly to offer your thanks for his service and to extend your good wishes,”

That’s nice.

However, a position such as the Chief Fire officer surely demands a little more than no announcement by way of an official Press Release of Hales leaving and who will be the Acting Chief?

I’m not getting fired up about it and I have just learnt that there has been an announcement on who will be the next Chief Officer.

Wait for it…….

It will be announced “SOON”.

The definition of “soon” according to the Cambridge Dictionary “in or within a short time; before long; quickly”.

I wonder if government actually understand that meaning?

Someone, though, will be placed in charge on Friday. Who it is? No announcement.

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