JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, has hailed the country’s firefighters as “unsung heroes”.
  • She said they continue to make a significant contribution by protecting lives and property, often under difficult and life-threatening circumstances.
  • The Prime Minister’s remarks came in a message read by Attorney General, Hon. Patrick Atkinson, during the Jamaica Fire Brigade’s (JFB) Fire Services Awareness Week church service held on Sunday, October 26, at the Pentecostal Assembly of Jesus in Spicy Hill, Trelawny.

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, has hailed the country’s firefighters as “unsung heroes”.

She said they continue to make a significant contribution by protecting lives and property, often under difficult and life-threatening circumstances.

“With ever increasing demands for your services and the invaluable role played in minimizing loss of lives, injury to persons and damage to property from fires, natural disasters, accidents and other emergencies, members of the fire services remain in a virtual state of continuous high alert.  May you enjoy great success and support as you continue your invaluable contribution to nation building,” she said.

The Prime Minister’s remarks came in a message read by Attorney General, Hon. Patrick Atkinson, during the Jamaica Fire Brigade’s (JFB) Fire Services Awareness Week church service held on Sunday, October 26, at the Pentecostal Assembly of Jesus in Spicy Hill, Trelawny.

She commended the leadership and members of the JFB for bringing the issues of fire safety and protection to public attention, through the observance of Fire Services Week from October 26 to November 1.

She said the choice of the theme: ‘Community in action … supporting fire prevention’ is both appropriate and timely, in that while members of the fire brigade are there to save lives and protect property, the community has a key role to play.

“For example, community action can help ensure that fire hydrants are operational, avoid false alarms, or assist the injured.  Learn how you can help and be part of your personal and community safety and protection brigade,” she urged.

Governor-General, His Excellency, the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, in a message read by Custos Rotulorum of Trelawny, Hon. Paul Muschette, called on Jamaicans, particularly those living and working in high-risk areas, to get involved in activities planned by the JFB to promote fire safety.

He said that fire has significant social and financial consequences for Jamaica, with the World Health Organization (WHO) estimating that on average, fire affects one per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) especially in developing countries.

“It is further believed that approximately 300,000 persons die each year from fire and related injuries, with children and the elderly being most at risk. Your participation is essential to preventing further loss of lives especially among children, who are our future leaders and nation builders,” the Governor General stated.

Sir Patrick Allen also commended the officers and members of the JFB for their “outstanding work in disaster management and risk reduction.”

“Thank you for your contribution towards making our communities, businesses, institutions and households safe,” he added.

Leader of the Opposition, Andrew Holness, in his message read by Councillor Donovan White, said that citizens must take greater responsibility for their own fire safety. “We all have the responsibility to protect each other from this menace.  In this regard, some of the key factors in preventing fires are edification, awareness, knowledge and understanding,” he said.

He urged the JFB to place focus on fire prevention in schools, during its week of activities.

“Fire prevention equipment such as extinguishers and emergency evacuation plans must be revisited, as well as training of students in the competent use of these life and property saving devices,” he said.