Fire, fire, and we have no water
With the drought a major cause for concern as it regards bush fires in the parish, Assistant Superintendent at the Mandeville Fire Station Rohan Powell, is hopeful that the units will remain intact and water becomes more available.
"Some of the things we have been facing at this time are due to the drought conditions coming on and the fires are increasing. But outside of bush fires, sadly, we are facing a large number of structured fires ... . One of the things we have been doing is to engage persons more. We have acquired a projector and we are now better able to put together programmes and go out there and offer better service in educating people on fire-safety practices"
He continued "Another issue is the availability of fire hydrants. Once we start going south or anywhere outside of Mandeville, to Newport and other areas, we find that there are no hydrants and so we have to come to Mandeville for water or go to Christiana for water. But thankfully, we have a tank at the station that we use during the drought, but water is still a challenge ... It's an hour and half to get to certain areas in south Manchester and to get there and come back here (Mandeville) to replenish and then to return to the fire is basically a waste a time "
Powell said he hoped that National Water Commission will, in short order, finalise plans they have for water supply in Manchester. He also hoped the Government will be able to supply the parish with a water tender.
"Thankfully all the units are up and running and no down time has been experienced since the start of the year ... . The terrain proves a challenge, trucks may overheat, ... due to years of service and the fact that they are semi-automatic, but all our trucks are working ... . With the three new trucks that the Government plans to acquire, we hope Manchester will be considered," he said
The station also has special plans to upgrade and expand the building, allowing more than 90 staff members to be comfortable so maximum efficiency may be experienced.