Emergency Medical Service to be Expanded

Photo: JIS Photographer Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang (right), presents the symbolic Yellow Helmet to Best Recruit, Most Discipline Recruit and Valedictorian, Jordan Wint (left), at the graduation ceremony for new fire fighters, at the Iona High School in Tower Isle, St. Mary, on February 4. At centre is Acting Commissioner of the Jamaica Fire Brigade, Raymond Spencer.

Story Highlights

  • Emergency Medical Service (EMS) is to be expanded this month with the opening of a new facility at the Waterford Fire Station, in Portmore, St. Catherine.
  • The Minister said that EMS, which currently serves western Jamaica, will be expanded throughout the rest of the island.
  • Dr. Chang indicated that a functioning and modern fire and emergency medical service is critical to the country’s development process.

Emergency Medical Service (EMS) is to be expanded this month with the opening of a new facility at the Waterford Fire Station, in Portmore, St. Catherine.

This was noted by Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job creation, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, at a graduation ceremony for 107 fire fighters, at the Iona High School in St. Mary, on February 4.

Dr. Chang pointed out that the new site will be outfitted with amenities, inclusive of an ambulance.

The Minister said that EMS, which currently serves western Jamaica, will be expanded throughout the rest of the island.

EMS began in 1996 by the Jamaica Fire Brigade in the western towns of Savanna-la-Mar and Negril in Westmoreland; Ironshore in St. James and Lucea, Hanover. 

The facilities are staffed by emergency medical technicians, who respond to road traffic accidents, life threatening trauma, severe bleeding and unconscious persons, among others.

Dr. Chang pointed out that EMS is more effective under the Jamaica Fire Brigade due to the paramilitary nature of the training fire fighters receive as opposed to the “routine activities of an ambulance service in the hospital, which is prepared and expected to have time to execute activities.”

He added that having emergency services under the Fire Brigade aligns with what occurs internationally.

Dr. Chang indicated that a functioning and modern fire and emergency medical service is critical to the country’s development process.

He commended the trainers for their hard work and dedication in moulding the young men and women and encouraged the recruits to continue seeking improvement through continued education and training.

Valedictorian, Jordan Wint, who received the award for Best Recruit, Most Disciplined Recruit and the prestigious Yellow Helmet, said that after months of intense training they have earned the title of fire fighter.

Mr. Wint urged fellow graduates to “be ambassadors of the Jamaica Fire Brigade.”

Attending the ceremony were Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development, Denzil Thorpe; senior members of the Jamaica Fire Brigade, relatives and friends of the recruits.

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