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The 32 fire personnel attached to the Santa Cruz Fire Station in St. Elizabeth are now serving the public from more comfortable and modern facilities.

The fire station was recently refurbished at a cost of $14.7 million, through funding provided by the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development, with contributions from other public and private sources.

Addressing the re-dedication ceremony for the building on Thursday, Acting Deputy Superintendent in charge of the fire station, Andrew Russell, informed that the upgrading, which started in January of this year, was carried out within budget.

He said the scope of the project included demolition and removal of the existing timber roof, windows and doors; construction of new officers dormitory; expansion of existing kitchen space; building of reinforced concrete slab roof; repainting of the station building; complete rewiring of electrical network; and installation of new floor tiles, windows and doors, and plumbing fixtures.

He said the work done was “the culmination of an important and eagerly awaited project, which will enrich the lives of the firefighters based there, boost their morale, enhance the delivery of service to the wider community and add value to the Jamaica Fire Brigade’s assets”.

Minister of State for Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Colin Fagan, in his address at the ceremony, said it is appropriate that the refurbished facility is being opened during Local Government Month.

He congratulated the firefighters for taking the initiative to start some of the work themselves, which he said, served as an inspiration for other  stakeholders to support the project.

“While funding was largely provided by the Ministry, through the St. Elizabeth Parish Council, I must acknowledge the input of those who partnered with us.  This kind of partnership is a practical demonstration of our theme for Local Government and Community Development Month – Local Government on a mission together: Building better communities, he said.

He gave a commitment that the Ministry “will do everything” to see to the completion of other necessary elements, such as security and landscaping, and urged the firefighters to take care of the facility.