JIS News

Minister of Local Government, Community Development and Sport, Portia Simpson Miller has said that the leadership of the Jamaica Fire Brigade was comfortable with the new trucks that were being acquired for the fire service and has asked that the Ministry move quickly to complete the negotiations for the procurement of the vehicles.
Mrs. Simpson Miller was responding to questions posed by Member of Parliament for North Eastern St. Ann, Shahine Robinson in Parliament on Tuesday (Sept.13), concerning possible difficulties for drivers in managing the vehicles, which are left hand drives.
The Minister said that checks by the Ministry had revealed that it would cost an additional US$12 million to procure right hand trucks and would further delay the acquisition process by another two months. She noted that while this was not a problem for the Ministry, as a “check with the Fire Brigade and several of its drivers indicated that they had no problems with left hand or right hand trucks”.
In addition, she said the leadership of the fire service had asked that no interference be made with the existing arrangements, as this would delay the delivery of the trucks.
Furthermore, she said it was noted that a number of commercial heavy-duty vehicles in Jamaica were left hand drives.
Mrs. Robinson, in persisting, noted that perhaps the willingness of the firemen to accept the vehicles was because of the unfavourable conditions, which now existed.
But, Mrs. Simpson Miller pointed out that Fire Brigade officials had been party to a demonstration of right hand and left hand trucks and no discontent was expressed.
Cabinet in July approved the award of the $9.2 million contract to Rosenbauer America LLC for the procurement of 33 new vehicles for the fire service.
The package, which is being financed through Government of Jamaica funding and loans, includes contractual obligations from Rosenbauer for the provision of 33 fire trucks , four water tenders, four foam tenders, and 25 pumpers, inclusive of all equipment, tools and service maintenance for five years.
There is a seven-year repayment period for the loan, with a one-year moratorium on payment and an interest rate of 1.5 percent.