JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The Jamaica Fire Brigade (JFB) will be increasing its assistance to victims of fire in the new year.
  • The family members are being accommodated by relatives at the same premises, which house several other residences.
  • They were selected for support by a JFB committee.

The Jamaica Fire Brigade (JFB) will be increasing its assistance to victims of fire in the new year.

“The country will see the brigade going beyond the traditional call of duty and will offer more charity to families affected by fire,” said Assistant Commissioner in charge of Fire Prevention, Sean Martin.

He was speaking to JIS News shortly after making a presentation of supplies valued at approximately $100,000 to Kingston fire victim Rochelle McCalla on New Year’s Eve (December 31). The items included two fire extinguishers, bed, bed linen, pillows, food items, cash and gift vouchers.

Miss McCalla and her three children lost their home and possessions in a blaze, which occurred at 22 Mandela Terrace, Kingston 11, on May 26, 2015.  The fire was due to faulty wiring.

The family members are being accommodated by relatives at the same premises, which house several other residences. They were selected for support by a JFB committee.

Assistant Commissioner Martin told JIS News that the assistance to the family, which includes fire prevention training, is the first step towards providing additional help for victims of fire across the island.

“The JFB wants to reach out more and aims to duplicate the assistance provided to the family today to other families,” he said.

He noted that the initiative “is in its pilot phase …and the JFB hopes to implement the complete plan soon.”

The first stage of the project will be implemented in Kingston and St. Andrew and then extend to other parishes.

Assistant Commissioner Martin explained that the plan is to have liaison personnel in every fire department, who will provide victims with information such as how to replace important documents and point them to the agencies where they can receive relief assistance, such as Food for the Poor.

He said the JFB will also be looking at assisting victims by providing labour to “get structures back up.” He said that disaster coordinators and Parish Councils will also play an integral role.

Assistant Commissioner Martin said the aim is to offer support in speeding up the recovery process for fire victims.

“We know that a fire is a stressful situation…and the brigade wants to alleviate this pressure in any way possible,” he noted.

Miss McCalla, in the meantime, told JIS News that she is “very thankful” for the assistance from the Kingston and St. Andrew Fire Brigade and all the other entities that contributed.

She said the contributions were “timely” and will put her one step closer to “getting back on her feet.”

She is advising persons “to pay close attention to the electrical wiring in their homes, and unplug appliances not in use and avoid overloading the circuit with devices.”