JIS News

The Jamaica Fire Brigade (JFB) and the HEART Trust/NTA, have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), which will facilitate the certification of fire fighters and improvement of safety standards throughout HEART institutes.
Copies of the reciprocal agreement were signed by JFB Commissioner, Laurie Williams, and Acting Executive Director of HEART, Paulette Dunn-Smith, during a brief ceremony at the training agency’s Oxford Road head office in Kingston on Tuesday (Feb. 17).
The MoU is the result of dialogue between both agencies, consequent on a directive from Prime Minister, Bruce Golding, that HEART engage the JFB in discussions, aimed at seeing how best the agency could assist in the transformation and modernisation of the fire service.
Outlining the MoU’s provisions, Mrs. Dunn-Smith said HEART/NTA would assist the JFB in developing a human resource development plan and occupational standards framework for the brigade’s more than 1,900 uniformed and civilian employees. Additionally, she informed that the training agency will provide the requisite technical expertise and resources, to facilitate certification of fire personnel.
“We will provide access to human resource management best practices. We will certify members of the Jamaica Fire Brigade with. the Caribbean Vocational Qualification, which will facilitate movement (and) opportunities throughout the Caribbean and internationally, because the certification is recognised right across the world,” she outlined.
In return, the JFB will facilitate the enhancement of safety regulations within HEART, and designate key persons to conduct safety audits, as well as provide advice and guidance on infrastructural configurations, among other things.
Commissioner Williams, in his remarks, stated that the MoU, “looks at the development of the human resources within the organisation, as we move towards turning the Jamaica Fire Brigade, not just into a profession by name, but (one) that has standards that can be benchmarked with first world institutions to make our (staff) well developed and more marketable internationally.”
State Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for Local Government, Robert Montague, said that through the MoU, “what we are doing is to look at the Brigade as an asset of the country, and we are investing in those assets.
“We have made a lot of investments in block and steel, and this Government is now underlining… investment… in human capital. This is another way of exploiting the assets of the country, for the benefit of the country.”

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