Commissioner of the Jamaica Fire Brigade (JFB), Stewart Beckford, has renewed the call for residents to support firefighters in their quest to lessen the threat posed by fires, by protecting fire hydrants in their communities.
Commissioner Beckford made the appeal at a ceremony to officially open the Montego Bay Fireboat Station and hand over two fire units and a fireboat in St. James, on December 28.
Mr. Beckford said that nonfunctional fire hydrants greatly impede the effective operations of the Brigade, which can result in devastating losses to persons in the event of a fire.
“What we have been experiencing over time, is that our hydrants right around the country are either tampered with or marl, sand and gravel are dumped on them, so they are inaccessible to us, and, as such, we have problems accessing reliable water sources,” Commissioner Beckford pointed out.
He urged members of the public to take special care of working hydrants, “because that hydrant may very well make the difference between your house going up in flames and us being able to save it”.
“The units we have carry a limited supply of water. If we are pumping at a fire at 10 bars per minute (measurement used in firefighting), a tank of this capacity will be exhausted within 10 to 12 minutes. That’s not a long time to be fighting a fire, and so we rely heavily on our hydrant network. I am making a special appeal that persons desist from tampering with our hydrants,” the Commissioner said.