TARPUM BAY, Eleuthera — Minister of National Security the Hon. Tommy Turnquest commended local and winter residents of South Eleuthera for forming a collaboration with the Government to meet critical community needs through the creation of the South Eleuthera Partnership (SEEP).
SEEP was established after a group of local citizens came together to discuss ways to increase the support given to the fire and medical services.
Mr. Turnquest said, “It is impressive that SEEP, in just a few short years, has provided effective leadership for the refurbishment of the ambulance and upgrading of ambulance services and has purchased a fire truck for service in South Eleuthera.
The Minister was speaking at a ceremony to celebrate the commissioning of the fire truck to the Royal Bahamas Police Force, and the re-commissioning of the ambulance to the Ministry of Health in Tarpum Bay, Eleuthera on Sunday, March 1.
Also in attendance at the ceremony were the Minister of Health the Hon. Hubert Minnis, Acting Deputy Commissioner of Police Ellison Greenslade, Head of the RBPF Fire Division Superintendent Jeffrey Deleveaux and Member of Parliament for South Eleuthera J. Oswald Ingraham.
Mr. Turnquest said the Government has an essential role to play in the provision of fire and emergency services to citizens and businesses.
He explained that the Government provided these services to the people of South Eleuthera via the Royal Bahamas Police Force primarily from Central Eleuthera and Governor’s Harbour along with the Ministry of Health; but that the services needed to be closer to the community in the South.
“It would have been easy enough for the people of South Eleuthera to say, ‘Let the Government do it,’ but they know these matters affect their lives and property, and understood the value of partnerships between the Government and the community in nation building.”
The Minister added that it is noteworthy that the youth of Tarpum Bay through SEEP and the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture Island Journeys partnership had an opportunity to become involved in building the Emergency Operations Centre which will house the ambulance and fire truck.
“At a time when some of our young people are sorely misguided, it is encouraging to know that from mixing mortar to researching public safety issues, the youth in South Eleuthera were constructively engaged in building the community in which they lived.
He noted that from an emergency services standpoint, South Eleuthera is now on a new and steady course thanks to SEEP, adding that other similar projects are being contemplated for the area.
“We recognise SEEP for its significant efforts to translate good ideas into positive action and for weaving a unifying tread in this community.
“We are very appreciative of all that you have done and all that you will continue to do and I wish to assure you that your fire truck will be in good hands, that the RBPF and the Fire Services Division will do all that we can to continue to support you and to provide training and resources to assist you.”
The Director of SEEP and International Consultant in Disaster Emergency Shaun Ingraham said he has worked in about 32 countries around the world as a consultant and he has never seen the type of response the project received in the community.
He said it is always a challenge in the post-colonial era to get people to do things for themselves. “We are always looking outside for people to do and people to help us, but with this project we felt that we matured; we felt we that this is something we wanted to do for ourselves.”
Mr. Ingraham said, “What we see here is the miracle of sharing and giving back; a miracle of taking a chance on a project that you did not even know if it is going to work, but you the people of Tarpum Bay, the people of South Eleuthera and Nassau did it.”
He also noted that a number of winter residents and international donors contributed to the project. Around $200,000 has been collected by SEEP to fulfil its agenda; half of which given by local donors.
NASSAU, Bahamas — The Minister of National Security the Hon. Tommy Turnquest thanks the volunteer firemen for their service during the Commissioning Ceremony of the of the Fire Truck to the Royal Bahamas Police Force in Tarpum Bay, Eleuthera, Sunday, March 1. (BIS photo/Patrick Hanna)
NASSAU, Bahamas — The Minister of National Security the Hon. Tommy Turnquest cuts the ribbon at the Commissioning Ceremony of the Fire Truck to the Royal Bahamas Police Force in Tarpum Bay, Eleuthera, Sunday, March 1. Pictured from left are Acting Deputy Commissioner of Police Ellison Greenslade; Head of the Fire Division Superintendent Jeffrey Deleveaux; Director of SEEP and International Consultant on Disaster Management, Shaun Ingraham and Superintendent of Police for Eleuthera Theopholis Cunningham. (BIS photo/Patrick Hanna)