As the Government continues efforts to beef up the resources of the fire service, Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Noel Arscott, has met with a representative of the Organization of American States (OAS) to discuss the procurement of units and equipment.
Mr. Arscott made the disclosure as he addressed the Jamaica House press briefing on June 27, hosted by Minister with responsibility for Information, Hon. Sandrea Falconer.
He said that the Ministry is also working closely as well with the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) to address conditions, while State Minister, Hon. Colin Fagan, has been assigned to work with the fire service to ensure that the best solutions are employed.
“We are going to have to find solutions…firefighters have a difficult situation, but it is overall part and parcel of the economic situation of the country,” he stated.
Minister Arscott informed journalists that a site has been identified at Twickenham Park in St. Catherine to set up a training centre for firefighters.
“We hope it will be on the scale of a regional centre, because the entire Caribbean region doesn’t have appropriate training facilities for firefighters,” he said, noting that the discussions with the OAS include implementation of a training programme, particularly in the area of forensics.
On the matter of conditions at the Riverton City landfill, Minister Arscott said that these are still being monitored and maintained, and that the Ministry has drafted proposals for a waste to energy project, which is to be publicly tendered shortly.
By Alphea Saunders, JIS Senior Reporter