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Jamaica Fire Brigade says emergency 110 unreliable

Published:Wednesday | October 8, 2014 | 9:04 AM

The head of the Jamaica Fire Brigade says 110, the emergency number for fire and ambulance services is highly unreliable and alternative arrangements must be put in place.



Acting Commissioner of the fire brigade, Errol Mowatt, says the fire department has found that there is no guarantee that callers will get a prompt response when they call the number.



The 110 emergency number is operated by telecommunications company LIME.



Mowatt, who was speaking at yesterday's sitting of parliament’s Public Accounts Committee, said the situation is compounded by a lack of training among some of the persons who answer the 110 number.



The revelations were met with surprise by PAC members who say the situation is unacceptable.



PAC chairman, Audley Shaw, vowed to write to Local Government Minister Noel Arscott encouraging him to take urgent steps to deal with the matter.



The acting head of the fire brigade says the fire department does not have a central dispatching system comparable to the emergency 119 operated by the police.



He says in the past, the brigade had approached the Government recommending the establishment of a central dispatching system which would include the Police, the Fire Brigade and the ambulance service.



However, according to Mowatt, the idea has not received any support.



The acting fire chief said the fire brigade has been using public education programmes to sensitise the public about how to contact the fire stations nearest them.



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