JIS News

The Jamaica Fire Brigade will be signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), with the Ministry of Water and Housing, to rehabilitate fire hydrants islandwide over the next three years.
Mayor of Kingston and St. Andrew, Senator Desmond McKenzie, making the announcement during his contribution to the State of the Nation Debate in the Senate on Friday (Jan. 30), said that the MoU would also provide for improvement in the responsiveness of the fire service, including the provision of emergency medical services, starting in Portmore and Kingston.
“We (also) hope to start construction of a regional training academy for fire fighters, as well as establish a new and adequate head office for the Jamaica Fire Brigade this year,” he informed.
The Jamaica Fire Brigade is also seeking to acquire trucks for bush and rural fire fighting, as well as buses, minivans and cars to meet the transportation needs of the brigade.
“We are also looking at the issue of acquiring smaller and faster fire boats. We have entered into a MoU with the Caribbean Maritime Institute to repair the corporate area’s fire boat,” the Mayor told the Senate.
Last year, the Fire Brigade acquired five new heavy duty vehicles, equipped with a variety of rescue equipment to deal with multiple accidents and other such problems.
Turning to other areas under his portfolio, Senator McKenzie indicated that his office would be conducting an assessment of all places of amusement within the municipality, in keeping with a directive given to Mayors by Minister of State with responsibility for Local Government, Robert Montague, to “find those (places) which are operating in breach of the regulations.”
Nightclubs are required to observe the following public safety requirements: have adequate and clearly defined entrances and exits; ensure that passageways, aisles and staircases have sufficient space to facilitate the safe and comfortable movement of patrons; and have adequate security measures in place to prevent patrons from entering the premises with firearms and other weapons.
“The Minister of State has warned that local authorities face stiff actions if they fail to enforce these regulations, and he has instructed that a report of the assessments be forwarded to his Ministry. So there is no room for joking in this matter,” Senator McKenzie told the Senate.

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