Firefighters to get ambulance
The ministries of local government and community development and health have partnered to provide the Jamaica Fire Brigade (JFB) with ambulances to boost firefighters' capabilities to assist persons sustaining injuries in motor vehicle accidents and other mishaps.
Local Government and Community Development Minister Desmond McKenzie noted that the JFB's role "goes beyond putting out fires", pointing out that they also respond to major accidents.
"Because of the importance of the role of the Jamaica Fire Brigade, the Ministry of Health has been working closely with the Ministry of Local Government, where there is now a collective approach to equip the firefighters [with ambulances]. We believe that once [they] have the right tools ... and the right training, [they] will be [better] able [in their] efforts to save lives," he said.
The minister was speaking at a ceremony for the presentation of an ambulance to the Hanover Municipal Corporation last Friday at the Lucea Fire Station.
McKenzie is urging motorists and other road users to exercise caution while travelling.
He lamented the high incidence of traffic accidents, particularly in western Jamaica, which he said accounted for a significant percentage of the overall road fatalities.
The minister attributed this to a culture of indiscipline on the roadways, noting that the fatal outcomes often placed significant pressure on the capabilities of key responders such as the JFB.
Noting that this also incurred a high cost on the public purse for treatment at government health facilities, McKenzie urged civic-minded persons to play a greater role in assisting to curb the wanton manner in which some motorists traverse the roadways with little regard for others.