By Carlena Knight
After an illustrious career in law enforcement spanning more than four decades, Fire Chief Elvis Weaver will today bid farewell to the Royal Police Force of Antigua and Barbuda (RPFAB) when he retires.
On February 1, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Weaver celebrated 43 years of service with the force. In November, as the force’s longest-serving member, he was one of eight officers presented with meritorious awards by Governor General Sir Rodney Williams.
During an interview on the Voice of the People show yesterday, the head of the Antigua and Barbuda Fire Services disclosed that he joined the RPFAB in 1979 and at that time he had no intention of becoming a firefighter.
“I applied for the police force. I was trained at Langfords … myself and 23 other men, and after a year and nine months in the regular force I asked to be transferred to fire and that’s where I have been ever since,” Weaver explained.
“I always tell people [that] to me it was like a vision because I knew nothing about fire, but I just felt the call and I just accepted it and, as they say, the rest is history.”
Since making the switch, Weaver has climbed the ranks in his decades-long career and will retire after attaining the highest position possible within his department, that of ACP.
He added that many things have changed since his earlier years in the fire department, and he is hoping that progress will continue to be made there after his departure, perhaps even with the Fire Services being separated from the RPFAB one day — a call that he has been making for several years.
“It is beneficial for you to stand on your own feet, to make decisions for your men and women instead of having to go through, with our case, the two Deputy Commissioners who are higher than me, plus the Commissioner.
“There are a lot of things that we would love to do for our own betterment and if the Commissioner doesn’t agree with me, then it will not take place. But when you are on your own now, you will make representation directly to a minister who is in charge of you and I think it will be more beneficial for the department,” Weaver said.
Weaver also had some advice for the new fire chief and fellow firefighters, by encouraging them to continue the fight to push for more improvements for the department.
A replacement has not yet been named for ACP Weaver.