Rural Express: Firefighter appeals for community support in fire prevention
Gareth Davis Sr, Gleaner Writer
A relationship between various communities and firefighters is being built to sensitise residents about the importance of fire prevention, which affects the lives and properties of everyone, irrespective of their economic status.
Spearheading that initiative is acting deputy superintendent of Portland Fire Brigade, Raymond Goodlet, who is determined to engage individuals and community groups on a quest to educate and sensitise residents about the need for and importance of fire prevention.
"Fire is not partial," commented Goodlet.
He added, "Fire affects the old and young, rich, poor, and most times, the most vulnerable in our society. It will destroy or damage the property of individuals, resulting in the stretching of our limited resources. I am urging residents to desist from lighting unnecessary garbage and bush fires, as our resources have been stretched to its limit.
"We have only one functional fire truck to serve the entire parish, but despite that we still manage to remain visible and relevant. We will continue to serve the people with dignity and pride in executing our duties in saving lives and property."
According to Goodlet, firefighters, despite the challenges, continue to work tirelessly through its organisational structure, to spread the word throughout the parish - through training, educating, sensitising, and specially-arranged programmes, which will impact behavioural changes.
Goodlet is also appealing to residents to come on board, in order to reduce incidents of death or injuries caused by fire. This, he expects to be achieved by implementing a sustainable fire-education programme, which will be centred on informing residents in vulnerable communities to desist from burning rubbish and to prevent damage to hydrants.
Continuing, Goodlet said, "Partnering with us in spreading and implementing ways to support fire prevention will not go unnoticed. Your involvement and contribution could very well save the life of a child or even an elderly person from the horror of dying from fire.
"Only a few days ago, firefighters celebrated fire prevention week with a number of activities throughout the communities. The action of those partnering with us will, no doubt, impact positively on the lives of other individuals and groups within the communities, as we strive to make Jamaica a safer place to work and to do business."