A Vincentian, who has been a firefighter for only 3 ½ years, has been honored as “Firefighter of the Year” in Bermuda.
Lance Dale Haynes, 40, was bestowed the William Glasford Firefighter of the Year award in late January, according to Haynes’s sister, Claudette Haynes, who trekked from Brooklyn to attend the ceremony.
She said William Glasford, an outstanding firefighter in Bermuda, died in 1997.
Ms. Haynes said the award began in 1998 and was dormant for a while until it restarted in 2018. She said her brother was the 5th awardee.
Ms. Haynes said she was “very happy and proud at the same time” in seeing her brother being honored.
“It was very special,” she told Caribbean Life. “It was a feather in our family cap. I am proud of his achievement as a Vincentian.
“I was honored to be there in person to witness it, being that he is my baby brother,” she continued. “As our mom would have said, he made my nose swell.”
Also present at the ceremony were, among other family members and friends, Mr. Haynes’s wife, Kevonne; his mother-in-law, Joanne Elizabeth Rogers; and his brother-in-law, Jahdel Rogers.
Ms. Haynes said her brother was surprised about the honor, stating that he only found out, during the ceremony, from Bermuda Fire Chief, Lloyd Burchall.
Nonetheless, Mr. Haynes told Caribbean Life that it was “an honor being recognized” by his peers, stating that he takes it seriously.
“It is good that people recognize the hard work I do daily,” he said. “It’s a very humbling experience as well.
“The honor came as a surprise, and it was not my intention to be awarded,” he added. “I believe in doing my best.
“You need to know your job, and you also need to take time to learn your job and make sure you are effective at what you do,” he added. “Each day you come to work, you try to learn something new – whether you have 20 years in the service or two years.”
Haynes said his thirst for knowledge helped him to complete several courses, including the promotion exam for sergeant.
He said he wanted to “set a tone” for his children.
Lance Dale Haynes was born in the Marriaqua Valley in St. Vincent & the Grenadines, to Velma Haynes and Harold King of Evesham, on May 15, 1978.
He attended the elementary Cane End Government School, Marriaqua Secondary School, and the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Community College.
On graduation from the Community College, he worked for four years with Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines.
After he returned to St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Haynes worked as the Operations Manager of Nature Care Horticultural Business.
In 2008, he migrated to New York and pursued Informational Technology (IT) courses.
After getting married in New York in August 2013, Haynes traveled to Bermuda to join his wife in October of that year.
Haynes said the award will further spur him “to keep doing” his best, adding that his appetite for learning has helped him to do his job effectively.