US Ambassador Candace Bond has expressed her gratitude to the Fire Service for saving her residence from destruction, shortly after she took up her post in Trinidad and Tobago.
Bond made the comment after observing a training exercise that involved Fire Service officers and US Naval Forces Southern Command personnel at the TT Defence Force (TTDF) Military Academy in Corinth on Wednesday.
The exercise formed part of a series of initiatives being undertaken as part of the US Naval Forces Southern Command/US 4th Fleet's Continuing Promise 2023 mission to the region.
The mission involves personnel from the US Navy expeditionary fast transport USNS Burlington working with military counterparts and other stakeholders in four designated countries on several initiatives.
Within the last month, the Burlington has visited Panama and Colombia. The vessel is in TT from September 2-10. Grenada is the final country it will visit as part of its mission.
During their exercise in front of a classroom filled with members of other national-security agencies such as the TTDF and the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management (ODPM), the fire officers explained various techniques they use to prevent people from drowning and the use of safety equipment such as inflatable life vests.
The ambassador was particularly appreciative of the skills of the Fire Service, "who I must say saved my house from burning down when I got here in the first week."
Bond did not provide any further details, but told the Fire Service officers who were present, "I am very grateful to you for your services."
Bond arrived in TT on December 1, 2022 with her family.
In her first official comment as then US ambassador-designate, Bond said, "It is a great honour to be in beautiful TT with my family. I look forward to presenting my credentials to (then) President (Paula-Mae) Weekes and meeting and working with the wonderful people of this country.”
US President Joe Biden nominated Bond as US ambassador on March 18, 2022. The US Senate confirmed her appointment on September 29, 2022. US Vice President Kamala Harris administered the oath of office to Bond on November 14, 2022 at the vice president’s residence in Washington.
Bond also observed the skills demonstrated by the Fire Service officers were important and could be helpful to save children who find themselves in jeopardy from strong currents in rivers or in the sea.
"This is really important training here."
The ambassador told the US and local military personnel that this type of collaboration and training in life-saving skills are among the objectives of the Continuing Promise mission