KINGSTON — Six firefighters, who participated in a recent week-long advanced training exercise in the United States (US),have returned home confident that it will assist the Jamaica Fire Brigade (JFB) improve operational capacity.
The exercise, which ran from July 17 to 23, was undertaken in collaboration with the Florida State Fire Department which offset the cost of accommodating and training the officers. The state owned refinery, Petrojam Limited, also assisted, by underwriting the cost of airfares to the tune of $450,000.
In an interview with JIS News Tuesday August 9, JFB's Deputy Commissioner for Operations, Errol Mowatt, said training satisfies the need to develop the competence of its members, and assist with the attitude of the firefighters.
“(All the participants) have come back beaming with confidence about the increased knowledge and the improvement in their outlook for the fire brigade, and the new positive attitude they (have acquired) to make the brigade what we all want it to be,” he said.
He commended Petrojam for their contribution to the project, adding that without their support it would not have been possible to send the team to the exercise.
Petrojam’s General Manager, Winston Watson, said enhancing the capabilities of the JFB is critical to nation building.
“We welcome the opportunity to be a part of the support structure for the fire department, (and) we will continue, hopefully, to so do. I am also hoping that we will never have to call upon your services but if we should need to, we know you will be there to support us” he said.
Safety, Environment, Quality Assurance and Security Manager at Petrojam, Leon Jarrett, said the training has assisted the team to improve their competence in swift water rescue, petroleum fire fighting, vehicle extrication, fire investigation and search and rescue.
By CHRIS PATTERSON, JIS Reporter