Do not light fires! Fire commissioner urges residents to stay away from the dangerous practice
ERROL MOWATT, commissioner of the Jamaica Fire Brigade, has appealed to persons, especially farmers to desist from lighting fires. Mowatt said in recent times fires have been stretching the resources of the fire services and there is no telling when it will end.
Adding that the country is still facing a prolonged drought since last year, he cautioned against lighting fires amid the dry, windy conditions now affecting the island.
Mowatt said he is counting on the professionalism of the brigade to bring the fire under control before there is a loss of life. "We are under severe stress and the resources are scarce. So I'm appealing to the citizens across the length and breadth of Jamaica to be extremely careful with the use of fires. I am particularly appealing to farmers to desist from the practice of using the slash-and-burn method to clear lands," said Mowatt.
He noted that while persons may be tempted because of economic reasons, the damage caused by their actions will far exceed whatever savings that could be accrued.
"We are appealing to everyone to be responsible and to be very careful. The life or property you save may very well be that of your own or loved one," he said.
Mowatt was speaking at a handover ceremony for 28 chairs at the May Pen Fire Station in Clarendon yesterday afternoon. The chairs were purchased over time by Custos of Clarendon William Shagoury.
Deputy Superintendent of the Clarendon Division, Orett Barnswell, said the chairs are well-needed resources as the members of the fire brigade had to be borrowing chairs from the parish library to assist in carrying out their office duties.
In handing over the chairs, Shagoury pledged his continued, unwavering support to the Clarendon fire services as they continue to work to save the lives and property of the men and women of the parish.
Mayor Scean Barnswell also expressed delight and gratitude at the gesture, noting that it will make the firefighters more comfortable in executing their jobs while away from the comfort of their homes.