The Fire and Emergency Services Authority, (F.E.S.A.) found itself in the limelight during the Cyclone Gita for all the right reasons.
Over 100 residents mostly from the Vaimauga District were evacuated to safety byF.E.S.A. officers while Cyclone Gita was at its peak early Saturday morning.
The rescue operations also included clearing trees threatening the safety of families in Aleisa, Tapatapao and Siusega
Commissioner Lelevaga Faafouina Mupo says that the majority of the 30 calls that officers had responded to did not want to evacuate when they were advised early Friday night.
“Many of the families refused our assistance,” he recalled. “However late early Saturday morning when Gita landed, we were evacuating people that we had approached earlier to be evacuated.”
He is thankful that there are no casualties. And he is commending his staff for a job well done.
“The only time that we are in the news is when tragedy happens and our authority takes the fall for the negligence of others,” says Lelevaga. “But that is all part of the job.
“It would be amiss for me not to publicly commend our staff for stepping up.”
On active duty from Friday mid-night last week as the country awaited the arrival of Gita, fire and rescue officers today are continuing their on-call services to render assistance.
In total, since F.E.S.A. was active Friday midnight last week, officers have responded to over 30 evacuation call outs in the areas of Matautu, Leone, Apia Park, and Ma’agao not including 20 call outs to assist with cutting down trees affecting their homes.
Today, teams are being deployed to assist with community work and clean up for schools and commercial buildings around Apia.