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JIS News

The St Thomas Fire Brigade, will be undertaking a series of safety education programmes, aimed at sensitising community-based groups and service clubs in the parish, on fire protection and prevention measures.
This initiative is part of the Jamaica Fire Brigade’s Community Fire Safety Programme, launched in July under the theme: “Awareness: The Key to a Fire Safe Community”.
The programme, which runs for three years, will be supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Forestry Department, National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA), Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM), and Ministry of Education.
Deputy Superintendent of the Fire Brigade, Denzil Roper, told JIS News, that the Brigade, in collaboration with the Social Development Commission (SDC), will stage training sessions with community groups, service clubs, farming groups, taxi associations, and other organisations.
“We had done some work with the wider community. But now, we will shift the focus, primarily, on the community-based organisations and groups,” he informed.
Deputy Superintendent Roper said that group members will be taught some basic firefighting skills, and measures to prevent a fire. He pointed out that only the basic skills will be taught.
“We do not want people to expose themselves to unnecessary risks that they are not capable of handling,” he explained.
Regarding taxi operators, Mr. Roper said they will be taught the proper use and care of fire extinguishers. He noted that some taxi operators have their extinguishers “thrown around” and are unaware that they are not working.
Deputy Superintendent Roper advised that farmers will also benefit from the programme, and noted that these individuals, sometimes, use fire as a means of clearing their land for cultivations.
“From a fire fighting perspective, we do not recommend that farmers use fire as a means of clearing the land. But even though we may preach this, they would still engage in this practice,” he said.
In this regard, he said that they will be given guidelines on how to carry out this practice in a safe way.