JIS News

The St. Thomas Fire Department has started a public education programme on fire prevention regulations, aimed at reducing the number of fires in the parish.
Deputy Superintendent of the Fire Department, Louiston Gooden, told JIS News that members of the fire prevention department have been visiting schools, community clubs and churches in the parish to give lectures on “what to do and what not to do in order to minimise the outbreak of fires”. The programme is being undertaken by members of the Fire Prevention Unit.
Mr. Gooden noted that during last year, there were 123 bush fires and 347 fire calls, of which 229 were genuine. He said the estimated loss for that period was over $96 million.
“For one month, we had 37 bush fire calls,” he said, adding that most of the bush fires had occurred in the Yallahs area.
He said that for the first eight months of this year, there were 259 fire calls, of which 203 were genuine, and that bush fires were 104. The estimated loss was $22 million.
Mr. Gooden noted that the department was conducting an audit of fire hydrants in the parish, and that a report on the location of malfunctioning hydrants would be submitted to head office in Kingston. He said that the damaged hydrants could hamper the work of firemen in the event of a fire, and there was need to have them repaired as soon as possible.
The Deputy Superintendent said the department was also concerned about the increased number of new buildings being constructed without the approval from the fire department. He said the division would be taking the necessary steps to ensure that persons adhere to the fire prevention measures required by law.

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