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Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Hon. Desmond McKenzie, says that the new Montego Bay Fire Station in St. James will be operational shortly.

The Minister, who toured the facility on Wednesday (January 19), said that the Jamaica Fire Brigade (JFB) is completing minor details on the building, following which firefighters will began utilising the station on a phased basis.

“The contractors have completed their share of the responsibilities in terms of this actual contract that they signed, and the Brigade is now working to complete the minor details. I am pretty confident that well before we celebrate 60 years [of Independence on August 6], this facility will be open for the benefit of the people of Montego Bay and the rest of Western Jamaica,” he noted.

The four-storey facility, constructed at a cost of approximately $550 million by the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF), is considered to be the most modern fire station in the region.
It features dormitories for the firefighters, administrative offices, a gymnasium, and communal spaces.

Minister McKenzie informed that furniture has been secured to outfit the fire station, and connection to utility services such as light and water is being finalised.

“The sewage line has been extended, and it is just now for connection with the National Water Commission (NWC) to be made, and a service provider to provide access to phones and Internet. That is almost at the stage of being completed and we are going to ensure that we put in a very reliable standby generating system that will allow the facility to operate if there is no electricity,” he indicated.

Meanwhile, Deputy Mayor of Montego Bay, Councillor Richard Vernon, said that residents are eagerly awaiting the opening of the facility, which, he pointed out, will be an asset to the growing city.

“It is very important that we have a facility like this with Montego Bay growing at the pace it is now. For any city to be sustainable, we must have a facility that is able to respond to the growing infrastructural changes and protect the lives and property of the citizens of Montego Bay,” Councillor Vernon added.

For his part, JFB’s Assistant Commissioner in Charge of Operations, Kevin Haughton, informed that plans are in place to facilitate the smooth transition from Fort Street and Freeport, where firefighters are now operating, to the new facility.

“The Jamaica Fire Brigade is pleased with the progress of the project. We would have put our relocation plans in place, and we are doing the necessary orientation of our staff,” he noted.

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