Fri | Aug 23, 2019

Jamaica Fire Brigade to get extra equipment by 2020, says local government minister

Published:Saturday | December 29, 2018 | 12:00 AMChristopher Thomas/Gleaner Writer
Local Government Minister Desmond McKenzie (right) breaks a bottle of champagne to christen a new fire-boat at the newly opened Freeport Fire-Boat Station in Montego Bay, St James, yesterday. Two fire-trucks valued at US$1.1 million (J$140,657,000) were also handed over during the ceremony.

WESTERN BUREAU:

Local government Minister Desmond McKenzie has pledged that his administration will provide some much-needed equipment to the Jamaica Fire Brigade (JFB) over the course of the upcoming financial year. This will include two fire-boats for St Ann and Portland and 10 additional fire-trucks.

McKenzie made the announcement during his keynote address at the official opening of Montego Bay's new fire-boat station and the handover of two fire-trucks and a fire-boat at Freeport in St James yesterday.

"I'm proud to announce that in our forecast of the 2019-2020 financial year, instead of putting in requests for two or three trucks, we've put in requests for 10 trucks and two additional fire-boats for the parishes of St Ann and Portland. We're anticipating that by the end of the financial year 2020 going into 2021, the JFB would be in a position where every fire station in the country will have a working fire unit," McKenzie told the firefighters at the ceremony.

"Since I became minister (of local government), the two trucks that will be handed over today will make six trucks that the brigade would have received in this financial year alone to boost its firefighting capabilities. There are an additional two more trucks that will come in this financial year, but will be delivered next year, that will increase the unit capacity of the brigade."

 

HOUSE 34 FIREFIGHTERS

 

The new fire-boat station at Freeport will house 34 firefighters, and the two fire-trucks have the capacity to hold 1,000 gallons of water each.

The JFB will also receive some 600 bunker kits, or fire kits, and next year, repair work will be done on the fire station in Negril, Westmoreland, at a cost of $8.4 million.

McKenzie promised that his administration would respond to the needs of the men and women in the JFB.

"I believe that the JFB is easily one of the most effective agencies of government, and I want to congratulate the men and women, those who are serving and who have served previously. The administration will do all that is humanly possible to provide the resources to ensure that the men and women of the JFB are able to respond to fires," said McKenzie.