JIS News

The remaining 15 of a total of 33 fire units procured by the Government of Jamaica (GoJ) for the Jamaica Fire Brigade (JFB), arrived in the island on Thursday (August 10), and are to be commissioned by month end.
Acting Commissioner of the JFB, Frederick White told JIS News that the vehicles, including water tanks, foam tenders and pumpers, would be distributed to fire stations in several parishes. The parishes are Kingston and St. Andrew, Portland, St. Thomas, St. Ann, St. Elizabeth, St. James, St. Catherine, Westmoreland and Hanover.
Two of the new fire units would be retained by the Brigade as spare vehicles, in the event of breakdowns, he noted. The acquisition of these vehicles, according to Acting Commissioner White, would result in the capabilities of the JFB being “enhanced in a big way, because we will be sure of having at least one unit in each parish, in each fire station”.
“We will be able to do a better job with the injection of these 15 new units, and we will be able to take out units on a timely basis to do proper preventive maintenance work,” he pointed out. Last month, the first 15 new fire units were handed over to the Brigade by Rosenbauer America LLC, under a US$9.2 million contract with the Government. Three other vehicles, which were damaged during shipment, had to be taken out for repairs. Cabinet approved the award of the contract to Rosenbauer in July 2005.
At the handing over ceremony for the first set of units at the Jamaica Defence Force, Up Park Camp, and attended by Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller and Local Government and Environment Minister, Dean Peart, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of National Safety Limited, Julian Templer, said that the new fire units were state-of-the-art units and the “best in the world”.
Giving a thorough demonstration of the units at the commissioning ceremony, Mr. Templer emphasized that the manufacturers, Rosenbauer America LLC, had elected to construct the fire units on special chassis.
“These chassis are not ordinary chassis. They are specifically manufactured for emergency purposes,” he told the gathering.
Acting Commissioner White told JIS News that apart from the acquisition of the 33 new vehicles, a number of other initiatives, including training programmes and fire station rehabilitation projects, were being pursued in the 2006/07 fiscal year to further upgrade the JFB.
Mr. White also informed that members of the Brigade would undergo terrorism response training soon, in preparation for the staging of the ICC Cricket World Cup (CWC) in the island next year.

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