JIS News

The Westmoreland Fire Service responded favourably to fire calls in 2004, saving properties valued at over $2.5 billion, in comparison to properties valued at some $500 million the previous year.
There were 311 fires in the parish last year, with a total loss in property of over $140 million, an increase from the 2003 statistics which recorded over 255 fires and a loss of $92 million.
Bush fires increased from 34 in 2003 to 112 in 2004, but cane field and dwelling fires showed a decrease from 73 to 65 and 64 to 60 in 2004, respectively.
At yesterday’s (January 13) sitting of the Westmoreland Parish Council, Mayor of Savanna-la-Mar and Chairman of the Council, Delford Morgan said more could be done for the Westmoreland Fire Department to make it more efficient.
“I am mindful of the constraints that exist, which do not now allow for the immediate provision of better services, but I would hope that some creative means be found to deal with this issue. Fire is something that affects all persons and we all have to lend our political weight as leaders to engage the Jamaican people in serious discussions towards the speedy improvement and enhancement of this vital service,” Mayor Morgan told JIS News.
He expressed concern at the number of fire hydrants, which were not in working order.
“I have in the past made appeals and I am again making one for persons not to misuse or to destroy the hydrants that are in place as they serve a very critical function. I am therefore hoping that we will not have a situation where the lack of functioning hydrants pose any serious problem or threat to life,” Mr. Morgan said.
New Fire Chief for Westmoreland, Senior Deputy Superintendent Vincent Hylton, told JIS News that he was mobilizing members of the service and the business community in a partnership, aimed at improving conditions at the station as well as repairing the units for greater effectiveness in responding to fires and other emergencies.

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