JIS News

The Jamaica Fire Brigade, launched Fire Safety Awareness Week, at a church service held at the New Testament Church of God in Rhoden’s Pen, Old Harbour, St. Catherine, on Sunday (Oct. 26).
Commissioner of the Jamaica Fire Brigade, Larry Williams, in a message read by Assistant Superintendent, Owen Thomas said, “Each year in October, Fire Safety Awareness Week celebrations represent the most high profile part of the Jamaica Fire Brigade’s ongoing work in fire prevention. During this week, the fire suppression, code enforcement and public education activities of the organisation are increased and highlighted.”
The week is being celebrated under the theme ‘Awareness The Key To A Fire Safe Community’ and is a repetition of last year’s theme, as the Jamaica Fire Brigade has adopted it as a slogan for its community fire safety programme, which was launched in July of this year.
Commissioner Williams explained that, “this programme is geared at increasing public awareness about the risk and what they can do to minimise them in their homes and public places if a fire breaks out”.
He said that the main objectives of the programme is to: broaden community fire safety awareness, reduce the instance of death or injuries caused by fires, increase the number of smoke detectors installed in homes and get communities actively involved in fire protection efforts.
“Over the next three years, the Brigade in association with various partners, ranging from corporate sponsors to community groups, will focus on residential and rural communities that experience the highest incidence of deaths from fires. These groups are being targeted because they are particularly at risk and require special education and protection,” he added.
Meanwhile, Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Professor the Honourable, Sir Kenneth Hall in his message delivered by the Custos of St. Catherine, Reverend Sophia Azan said that “in spite of the extensive training programme of the Jamaica Fire Brigade, too often we hear of fires that cause extensive damage, severe injuries and even loss of lives. It is imperative therefore, during this Fire Safety and Awareness Week, being observed by the Jamaica Fire Brigade, that Jamaicans take advantage of the heightened interest in fire safety,(and) join with fire fighters to increase awareness as the key to creating safer communities”.
Sir Kenneth Hall, added that many Jamaicans, because of recent experiences with fire hazards, are in full support for more disaster preparedness strategies. He said that the entire nation needs to support the Jamaica Fire Brigade in its fire prevention programme in order for it to achieve optimal success and that, “one way in which this can be manifested is for Jamaicans to be mindful of unsafe environmental practices and to take the necessary measures to be prepared in the event of a fire”.
Chairman of the Board of the Jamaica Fire Brigade, Colonel Audley Carter, in his message delivered by Deputy Superintendent, Linroy Lambert said, “while we can benefit from education about fire safety, it must be realised that fire safety is an individual responsibility that makes each and every one of us a vital player on any fire safety team,” and that everyone regardless of age must be made aware of fire safety procedures.
The week will be observed with a number of planned activities across the island such as, exhibitions at fire stations, house to house visits in selected communities, and expositions for the business community and the general public.

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