JIS News

The Government of Jamaica has acquired property at Twickenham Park in St. Catherine to construct a training school for personnel employed to the Jamaica Fire Brigade in a bid to improve their overall training and development.
Local Government, Community Development and Sport Minister, Portia Simpson Miller made the disclosure yesterday (May 31) during her contribution to the 2005/06 Sectoral Debate in Gordon House.
The Minister informed the House that Cabinet had given its approval to acquire the property and already, a deposit has been made to the current owners.
“A training school development committee has been established and tasked with the responsibility of ensuring that the Jamaica Fire Brigade Training School begins operations in the financial year 2005/06,” she said.
Minister Simpson Miller further noted that long-term plans for the training school included the training of fire fighters and officers within the Caribbean region, which assist the school “to be self sustaining and not be a charge on the public purse.”
Highlighting achievements made during the last fiscal year, she pointed to the refurbishing of several fire stations as another accomplishment. The Stony Hill, Rollington Town and Morant Bay Fire Stations were all refurbished, while the Falmouth Fire Station was demolished in May in preparation for the building of a new prototype fire station, which should be completed by the end of October in 2006.
Meanwhile, the Minister said “work will commence on a regional prototype fire station at Barnett Street in Montego Bay in September 2005.”
Turning to the procurement of vehicles and equipment for the Fire Brigade, she informed that “negotiations for the purchase of much needed units for the Brigade were now complete and the Ministry is now in the process of acquiring the necessary endorsement from the National Contracts Commission and approval from the Cabinet.”
Speaking further, she said “this contract is for the procurement of 33 fire fighting units in the first instance which should be arriving in the island over a nine month period. The other eight units to complete the total of 41 vehicles will be purchased in due course.”
On the matter of maintenance of the Brigade’s existing fleet of fire fighting units, Minister Simpson Miller explained that a Vehicle Repairs and Maintenance Division had been implemented.
“Under this programme,” she told members of the House, “it is expected that approximately six units will be refurbished, and will result in a more dependable fleet until the new units arrive.”
She said in order to ensure an effective preventative and predictive maintenance, the Brigade’s workshop was being retooled with tools and equipment that would cost approximately $500,000 for the current financial year.

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