Programme Underway to Modernise Fire Service


Minister of Local Government, Community Development and Sport, Portia Simpson Miller has said that a programme to re-organise and modernise the Jamaica Fire Brigade was presently underway.
She said a six-man team from overseas was currently in the island to conduct a review of the operational effectiveness, the administrative systems and the governance arrangements in the Brigade. The programme is being conducted through a technical assistance project under the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID). Minister Simpson Miller was making her contribution to the 2005/06 Sectoral Debate in Gordon House yesterday (May 31).
She explained that at the end of the review, “a diagnostic report will be provided and ultimately, a performance improvement plan will be prepared which will inform all decisions regarding modernisation and restructuring of the Brigade.”
Shifting focus to the Brigade’s community outreach programme, the Minister informed the House that the programme, which is a self-devised project, saw teams of fire fighters working to improve the appearance of selected fire stations every two months. She said the Ministry provided paint, equipment and supplies to assist the fire fighters in the refurbishing venture.
She also lauded the Brigade’s Homework Programme, which was in place at the Trench Town and Rollington Town Fire Stations. The programme, which was initiated by the Board of the Jamaica Fire Brigade, focuses on students in these communities who are sitting the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) examinations.
“They are mentored by members of the Brigade and provided with facilities where they are able to conduct their studies and do their homework in relative comfort,” she said.
Outlining other achievements made by the Brigade during the 2004/05 fiscal year, Minister Simpson Miller said the Jamaica Fire Brigade responded to a total of 14,190 calls saving property estimated at $2 billion and also responded to 2,504 emergency medical service related calls during the year.

JIS Social