Fire Brigade gets funds and equipment


Minister of State for Local Government, Hon Robert Montague, on (October 25) presented the Jamaica Fire Brigade with $5 million towards enhancing the working environment of its staff.
In addition, rescue equipment were donated by Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) valued at approximately $20.8 million, including 30 sets of protective gear, five extrication tools (jaws of life) and two tripods.
The presentations were made during a ceremony at the York Park Fire Station, downtown Kingston.
Mr. Montague said that, after consultations with the senior officers of the Brigade, several areas were identified to be addressed to enhance the working environment and improve the efficiency of the staff. These include rectifying the conditions at the Santa Cruz fire station, where staff was removed and placed in a costly rented facility.
The senior officers also identified the need for funds to continue the extension of the May Pen fire station, as well as providing uniforms for firefighters and two compressors.
Of the sum, $4.5 million will be used to renovate the fire station in Santa Cruz, while another $500,000 will go towards completing the May Pen fire station. The figure is part of an overall sum of $9.5 million, the remainder of which will be handed over soon.
“The additional sum of $4.5 million will be given, within the next two weeks, to complete the total upgrade of uniforms, especially for the new recruits and to purchase some compressors to assist in the breathing apparatus,” Mr. Montague said.
The State Minister stated he appreciated the firefighers who “are working above and beyond the call of duty in conditions that are extremely trying.”
“Whether it’s a fire, whether it’s a flood, whether it’s an accident…(it is) the brave men and women of the Caribbean’s finest brigade that are called out to assist, and many times the country does not appreciate the work of the Jamaica Fire Brigade,” he stressed.
The rescue equipment provided by JSIF will be used to rescue trapped persons, in instances such as earthquakes, landslides as well as vehicular accidents. The two tripods are the first of their kind for the Brigade, and will enable the rescue of persons trapped in confined spaces.
The provision of the tools was made possible through JSIF’s US$ 10 million Emergency Recovery Project (ERP) financed by the World Bank, which has as its overall objective the strengthening of Jamaica’s ability to respond to emergency events.

JIS Social