The Jamaica Fire Brigade (JFB) has launched its Citizen’s Charter, outlining the level of service Jamaicans can expect from its members, as well as its expectations of the public.
At the launch of the Charter, Thursday (September 17), at the Department of Local Government, Kingston, Minister of State in the Office of the Prime Minister with Responsibility for Local Government, Hon Robert Montague, said the document was a contract between the Brigade and Jamaican citizens.
Mr. Montague said the Charter, which is the first since the Brigade was established in 1871, is in keeping with efforts at modernisation.
Among the commitments given by the Brigade is that all calls to fire stations will be answered courteously, within three rings. Emergency calls will not be put on hold, and persons calling the station for non-emergency reasons will not be put on hold for more than 30 seconds.
Minister of State in the Office of the Prime Minister with Responsibility for Local Government, Hon Robert Montague (centre), addressing the launch of the Jamaica Fire Brigade’s Citizen’s Charter, at the Department of Local Government, Kingston, Thursday (September 17). Looking on are Director of the Board of the Jamaica Fire Brigade, Rockey Allen (left) and Commissioner of the Brigade, Laurie Williams.
The Brigade is also pledging that most requests for approvals and fire inspections will be met within 10 working days. The charter also mandates that fire personnel make every effort to reduce water, smoke and other damage by their actions at incidents.
In return, the Brigade is asking that members of the public show courtesy to fire personnel and comply with requests made of them by the fire personnel. The public is also being asked to be specific and clear in their requests, and to reduce the number of false and misleading calls for assistance.
The public is also reminded to yield the right of way on the approach of fire trucks with sirens, and to honour the timelines set for requests to conduct fire drills and for certification of venues for entertainment events.
Mr. Montague congratulated the Brigade for ensuring that the charter was written in language understandable by all Jamaicans.
Minister of State in the Office of the Prime Minister with Responsibility for Local Government, Hon Robert Montague (right), accepts a copy of the Jamaica Fire Brigade’s Citizen’s Charter from Commissioner Laurie Williams, during the launch of the document at the Department of Local Government, Kingston, Thursday (September 17).
“Many times we have charters that when you read them you need a university degree to interpret what is written, and this Charter is in normal, natural, plain, easy to read language,” he stated.
Commissioner of the Jamaica Fire Brigade, Laurie Williams, noted that the Charter would improve the accountability of the Brigade.
He said that the public could make reports about unsatisfactory service by leaving a note in their local fire station’s complaints/suggestion box, or by requesting to see a supervisor, if the situation requires immediate action, or by emailing the Brigade at email@example.com.
He also outlined a chain of authority to which complaints can be directed, if they are not satisfactorily dealt with at each level. It starts with the Commissioner, then the Chairman of the Board, the Principal Director and, finally, the Public Defender.
Commissioner Williams said that copies of the Charter are to be placed in fire stations, public libraries and schools. Copies are also available on the Brigade’s website: http://www.jamaicafirebrigade.org