Carnival Cruise Line and Turks and Caicos Islands officials today welcomed the arrival of a donated fire truck for the Grand Turk Domestic Fire Services during a special ceremony at the Grand Turk Cruise Center, with Carnival’s Mardi Gras docked in the background. Carnival partnered with The City of Miami Fire-Rescue Department to secure the donation and coordinated shipping of the truck, which will now be used to serve the residents of and visitors to Grand Turk.
“Grand Turk has been an important destination for Carnival for the last 17 years, so when we learned the island was in need of a fire truck, we wanted to help,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “We are so grateful for the assistance of the Miami Fire-Rescue Department in making this donation and hope it will enhance the safety services on the island while strengthening the partnership between Carnival and Grand Turk.”
Turks and Caicos Islands Fire-Rescue established the first Grand Turk Domestic Fire Services three (3) years ago and today has six (6) personnel trained to provide fire-rescue services and is currently progressing the initiative to increase its personnel by training persons to become volunteer fire officers. Currently, the Grand Turk Domestic Fire Services has one (1) fire truck assigned to them. The newly donated truck will also be solely assigned to the Domestic Fire Services and will be used to serve the community.
In commenting on the donated fire truck, Hon. Minister Otis Morris, Minister of Home Affairs, Transportation, Broadcasting, Energy and Utilities and Telecommunications for the Turks and Caicos Islands Government said, “The addition of this truck is a critical step towards protecting lives and safeguarding property in Grand Turk and advances the top priority of this ministry to ensure an effective response to emergencies and fire suppression across the Turks and Caicos Islands. We are deeply grateful to Carnival for securing this welcomed donation and for the efforts of the City of Miami Fire-Rescue Department with this incredible gift to our community. This donation enhances the positive impact of Carnival in Grand Turk far beyond its operations by contributing to the well-being of our residents.”
Weighing 15 tons, the fire truck was built by Pierce Manufacturing and can hold 500 gallons of water. At Carnival’s request, the City of Miami Fire-Rescue Department graciously donated the truck with support from the City of Miami Commission. The Department has also offered to train Grand Turk firefighters on how to operate it.
“Our mission to serve and protect the greater community goes beyond our city limits, so when we were approached by Carnival to help our neighboring island of Grand Turk augment their fire service capabilities, we identified and refurbished a fire truck to donate,” said Miami Fire-Rescue Chief Joseph Zahralban. “We thank our city government for supporting this initiative and hope this truck will serve the people of Grand Turk for many years to come.”
Present at the special ceremony to celebrate the arrival of the fire truck were Acting Governor H.E. Anya Williams; The Honorable C. Washington Misick, Premier; the Honorable Ejay Saunders, Deputy Premier; Minister Morris; the Honorable Josephine Connolly, Minister of Tourism, Environment, Heritage, Maritime, Gaming and Disaster Management; Carnival Corporation Senior Vice President of Government and Destination Affairs Marie McKenzie; Carnival Cruise Line Sr. Director of Public and Executive Communication Kelly Penton Chacon; Mardi Gras Captain Alessandro Lemmi; Mardi Gras Hotel Director Carlos Santos De Melo; and members of the Grand Turk and JAGS International Airport Fire Services.
Carnival Cruise Line ships will visit Grand Turk 190 times and bring about 675,000 guests to the island in 2023.