- Establishment of international training certification and headquarters in Twickenham Park HQ on track
- International accreditation will ensure “that we can create job opportunities"
- Work is underway to bring “all our fire stations up to an acceptable standard”
Upgrading of the Jamaica Fire Brigade, including international training certification, and establishing its headquarters in Twickenham Park, St. Catherine, are on track, says Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Noel Arscott.
Mr. Arscott, who spoke at the dedication ceremony for the Freeport Fire Station, in Montego Bay, St. James, on August 28, said the international accreditation will ensure “that we can create job opportunities for our young men and women graduating into career paths. Our fire officers are trained to international standards; where the problem is, is accreditation, if they are to get jobs overseas.”
“So, we are working and having discussions with the Maritime Institute, and the University of the West Indies, to see how we can have our fire officers accredited…once they are trained they will have international accreditation. That will open tremendous opportunities for youngsters going into the Fire Brigade,” the Minister said.
“He explained that with the Logistics Hub initiative taking shape, and expansion of the tourism sector in progress, there will be more opening and job prospects for fire fighters, and the new headquarters, when operational, will serve as a Regional training institution,” he added.
The Minister said when fire officers need to do advance training, they have to go overseas, and that is very expensive.
“The setting up of the headquarters is aimed at creating the kind of facility that will be almost a regional training institution, so that all the training can be done here, and we could train others from the rest of the Caribbean. That is the direction that we are focusing on,” the Minister said.
Mr. Arscott said there is a commitment to upgrade the fire service. “We have already ordered some units, and we expect them to be here this year,” he noted.
The Freeport Fire Station has replaced the old one on Barnett Street, which has been demolished.
Meanwhile, State Minister in the Ministry, Hon. Colin Fagan, reported that work is underway to bring “all our fire stations up to an acceptable standard.”
“Work is currently being done on the Port Royal Fire station; the removal of its asbestos contaminated roof is being removed and will be replaced with steel sheeting. The Savanna La Mar fire station will also have work done on it, and work was recently done on the Trench Town fire station,” he said.