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JIS News

Local Government, Community Development and Sport Minister, Portia Simpson Miller today (Nov. 15) signed a contract for $7.6 million, to carry out rehabilitative work at the York Park Fire Station on Orange Street.
The contract has been awarded to Island Woods and Development Limited and the work, which will begin at the end of this month, is expected to last eight weeks. The scope of the work is extensive and includes refurbishing the fire station’s bathrooms, repairs to the roof, replacement of all the windows and doors, and repainting of the interior and exterior of the building. Speaking at the contract signing, which was held at the Ministry’s Hagley Park Road offices, Minister Simpson Miller said while a number of fire stations were not in ideal condition, York Park represented “the beginning, where we have started refurbishing some of the stations, looking at those in the worst condition first.”
Mrs. Simpson Miller indicated that in addition to York Park, fire stations located in the parish capitals of Savanna-la-mar and Lucea are to be addressed by the Ministry in terms of their necessary repairs.
The Minister thanked students from the Building Department of the University of Technology (UTech), who she informed, “gave of their time during the summer holidays to assist our architects in our technical department with measurements and surveys.I would like to say to them their contribution was invaluable to us reaching this far in bringing this project to fruition.”
On the issue of commendation, Minister Simpson Miller said persons congratulate fire fighters when they performed their duties well.
Addressing the contractor, Managing Director of Island Woods and Development Limited Michael Ranger, the Minister called on him to meet the two-month deadline. “I am not one who supports overruns or shoddy work, I am for perfection, and for every tax dollar of the people of this country to be protected,” she said.
Meanwhile, Technical Director in the Ministry, Patrick Wong told JIS News that in respect of work being done at the island’s fire stations, the Ministry was taking a two-pronged approach, which included refurbishing and the building of new fire stations.
The stations currently being refurbished include the Savanna-la-mar fire station, where new sanitary facilities are to be put in place; the Lucea fire station which is being refurbished and extended, with a new gym, kitchen, and pantry being added to the existing building.
In addition, the Technical Director informed, work will begin shortly for the construction of a station in Falmouth, while a new station is also in the pipeline for Port Maria.
Mr. Wong told JIS News that the Jamaica Fire Brigade has indicated to the Ministry that following the current rehabilitation projects, stations that would require subsequent attention include the Old Harbour, Black River, and Barnett Street fire stations.
He disclosed that plans were being put in place for the first regional fire training centre to be built in Jamaica, where fire fighters from within the region could be taught.
However, he said the Ministry and officials at the Jamaica Fire Brigade, “had to look at a proper briefing on a facility that is already in existence that we are properly guided on what is done”.
Mr. Wong said after necessary consultations and a clearly defined plan is drafted, the private sector would be approached to see how best they could contribute to the venture.