JIS News

The Jamaica Fire Brigade is slated to receive much needed equipment as part of efforts to boost its fire fighting capabilities and improve overall operations.
Acting Commissioner of the Jamaica Fire Brigade, Frederick White informed JIS News that the equipment, which were being prepared to specification, include turntable ladders, water tankers, hydraulic platforms, emergency tenders, foam tenders and pumpers.
“Island wide, all the stations need at least one of the equipment that we are to receive” Mr. White said, adding that, “these should replace and give a proper overhaul of those that now exist.” He informed that the equipment should be ready in another nine months. In respect to the acquisition of fire units, Acting Commissioner White informed that the Brigade had proposed to the government, that trucks be bought on a phased basis to ensure their longevity.
“We are currently proposing to the government that the units be bought on a phased basis instead of in large bulks. The units should last for at least 20 years and we feel that if they are purchased every other year, then they can be up-to-date and we will be able to better monitor and maintain them,” he explained.
Continuing he added that, “with proper preventive maintenance, we are going to ensure that all equipment including the fire units last”.
The Brigade is also seeking to increase its manpower and according to Acting Commissioner White, the training of recruits would begin at the Madge Saunders Training Centre in St. Mary on September 18. The aim, he said, was to fill the shortage of some 500 fire fighters.
The Acting Commissioner further informed that the Brigade had set up a committee to look into the establishment of a regional training centre on property acquired at Twickenham Park, St. Catherine.
“We need to have a regional training school for a fire service that has been operating for over a 100 years,” he stated, adding that the Brigade would be seeking the assistance of corporate Jamaica in this venture.