26 Fire Units Retrofitted and Put Back into Service


Minister of Information and Development, Donald Buchanan, has said that 26 of the 30 fire units supplied by Rosenbauer have been retrofitted and put back into service.
Mr. Buchanan, who was speaking at Monday’s (April 23) post Cabinet press briefing held at Jamaica House, informed that work on the remaining four units should be finished by Wednesday (April 25) and “with that we would have the full complement of new fire trucks”.
The Rosenbauer fire units, which acquired by the government last year, were found to have various defects and a technical committee recommended that they be taken out of service for modifications.
Meanwhile, the Information Minister said that Cabinet took note of the “blatant attempt” by Opposition Spokesman on Finance, Audley Shaw to use the medium of Parliament last week to mislead the public on the suitability of units supplied by Rosenbauer and Renault.
According to Minister Buchanan “he (Mr. Shaw) attempted to give an impression that there was a 1998 report on the supply of fire trucks to the government of Jamaica, which indicated that whereas the Rosenbauer vehicles were not suitable to Jamaican conditions, the competing company’s (Renault) fire vehicles had been given a clean bill of health in the report.”
“The report by the consultant, who provided the Ministry of Local Government with this particular advice in October of 1998, clearly indicated that with respect to the Renault fire fighting vehicles, there were failures resulting in downtime coupled with high spare part cost, which were found not to be in the interest of fire fighting capabilities of the Ministry of Local Government and the fire service,” informed Mr. Buchanan.
He pointed out further that “equally, the report indicated that with respect to Rosenbauer, there were long downtime instances where the vehicles had malfunctioned, as well as what was indicated was high maintenance cost. So, in fact, this report was critical of both the Renault and the Rosenbauer units.”

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