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JIS News

The United States government has donated equipment valued at $8.6 million to the Jamaica Fire Brigade (JFB), to assist in the fight against fires and to improve its response to emergencies.
The equipment include a fire truck, which was used during the aftermath of Hurricane Ivan; a 28-passenger bus, and firefighting support items.
Minister of Local Government, Community Development and Sport, Portia Simpson Miller, who addressed the handing over ceremony today (December 14), noted that the donation was very timely, in recognizing the work of the Fire Brigade. She commended the firefighters for their efforts and role in the communities.
“We are offering first class service and we need to ensure that we have first class equipment to meet the challenges that you face in the field every day,” she said.
In her remarks, Ambassador from the US, Sue Cobb, said she was pleased to be associated with the Brigade’s efforts, especially the work done during Hurricane Ivan.
“When people run away from a disaster, natural or man-made, it is the Fire Brigade that has to run towards it,” Ambassador Cobb said, adding that the firemen and women in Jamaica were very important to the security and safety of the citizens. “I strongly commend the work that they have been doing,” she added.
The equipment was donated through the Humanitarian Assistance Programme of the United States Southern Command/U.S. Department of Defence, managed by the U.S. Military Liaison Office of the U.S. Embassy in Jamaica, and co-ordinated through the U.S. Marine Corps in Albany, Georgia.
The Humanitarian Assistance Programme allocates funds, equipment and training on an annual basis to assist nations of the Caribbean and Latin America to prepare for and respond to natural and man made disasters.
In addition to the firefighting equipment for the Fire Brigade, the U.S. Military Liaison Office has facilitated more than $5.4 million in disaster relief and medical supplies following Hurricane Ivan.
Speaking of the Fire Brigade’s response during Hurricane Ivan, Minister Simpson Miller noted that the fire truck donated by the U.S. Government was of great assistance. She pointed out that the men and women of the Brigade did not only put out fires, but they were the initial responders to emergencies in Jamaica.
Recognizing the contribution of the U.S. government, Minister Simpson Miller said that the assistance of the United States Ambassador, and her work in helping the Government of Jamaica, was not only to the Local Government Ministry but to all other Ministries as well.