Fire Brigade Gets Command Units from Japan

Photo: Rudranath Fraser Acting Commissioner for the Jamaica Fire Brigade (JFB), Raymond Spencer (left), shakes hands with Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Desmond McKenzie (centre), while showing off the key to one of two command vehicles donated by the Japanese Government to the brigade. Sharing the moment at right is Ambassador of Japan to Jamaica, His Excellency Masanori Nakano (left), who handed over the vehicles during a ceremony held on June 21 at the York Park Fire Station on Orange Street, Kingston.

Story Highlights

  • The Jamaica Fire Brigade (JFB) now has two command units, which will boost its capacity to respond to emergencies.
  • Designed to operate as mobile offices, each unit can accommodate six persons and boasts four workstations; two bunk beds, as well as kitchen and bathroom facilities; and is also equipped with standby generator and air conditioning. Facilities for computers are to be installed at a later date.
  • Speaking at the handover ceremony held on June 21 at the York Park Fire Station, Orange Street, Kingston, Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Desmond McKenzie, expressed gratitude to the Japanese Government for its unwavering support to Jamaica.

The Jamaica Fire Brigade (JFB) now has two command units, which will boost its capacity to respond to emergencies.

The vehicles, which are valued at more than US$407,000, were donated by the Government of Japan under its Non-Project Grant Aid for the Provision of Industrial Products.

Designed to operate as mobile offices, each unit can accommodate six persons and boasts four workstations; two bunk beds, as well as kitchen and bathroom facilities; and is also equipped with standby generator and air conditioning. Facilities for computers are to be installed at a later date.

A third unit is scheduled to arrive in the island in December.

Speaking at the handover ceremony held on June 21 at the York Park Fire Station, Orange Street, Kingston, Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Desmond McKenzie, expressed gratitude to the Japanese Government for its unwavering support to Jamaica.

He noted that the units, which are the first of their kind in the region, will enable the Brigade to better coordinate its activities with other emergency-response agencies, including the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF), the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) and the Ministry of Health.

The Minister said he is particularly pleased that the vehicles can withstand natural and man-made disasters such as hurricanes, fire and terrorist attacks.

“This is especially important, as it is anticipated that the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season will be very active. We must prepare ourselves for one of the most active hurricane seasons in quite a long time. What we experienced last week (with the flood rains) is an indication of what we can expect (for this season)… It means that the JFB, as the first responder, must be able to respond as the need arises,” he pointed out.

Reiterating the strong friendship between the countries, Ambassador of Japan to Jamaica, His Excellency, Masanori Nakano, expressed his hope that the command vehicles will assist in ameliorating the challenges resulting from disasters.

“I earnestly hope these command vehicles will always serve to ensure the safety of the lives of people across Jamaica, which is most important in the development and prosperity of a country,” he said.

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