Mon | Oct 15, 2018

Fire service saves Hanover billions

Published:Saturday | December 17, 2016 | 12:00 AMBryan Miller

With approximately 263 emergency calls received and responded to between January 1 and December 15 this year, the Hanover division of the Jamaica Fire Brigade has saved an estimated $5 billion in potential fire damage.

At the same time, there is an estimated $30 million in property losses over the same period as a result of fires in the division.

Raymond Desouza, deputy superintendent in charge of the Hanover Division of the Jamaica Fire Brigade, told The Gleaner that there were approximately 20 false alarms over the period.

He noted that the monthly number of calls varied from one month to the next, with the period January to March having thirty-two, twenty-nine and thirty-one calls, respectively, while between April and October the number of calls fell to the twenties and below.


Fire-prevention campaign


"In late March to early April, we had put together a robust fire-prevention education campaign where we met with individuals, businesses, institutions and the general populace of Hanover. As such, we saw a reduction in the number of fire calls," said Desouza.

The deputy superintendent said that the campaign was intensified in May, which led to a further reduction to a low of 10 calls in October.

With the Yuletide season now looming, Desouza is sounding a warning, especially for motorists, particularly against the background that his division has responded to calls in relation to 20 motor vehicle accidents in the parish since the start of the year.

"We see the need to say to motorists, especially at this time, please use the road with due care and remember other road users. Because carelessness on the road always causes injury and death, we are just asking them to exercise caution," he stressed.

He also had a word of caution for householders: "We are heading into the Yuletide season and this is always a season of festivities, where persons come together and share pleasantries. We want to say to persons to be extra careful in relation to the use of fires in terms of how you go about and do both inside and outdoor cooking".

The deputy superintendent also emphasised that in circumstances where children want to help in the kitchen, extra care must be taken in their supervision.