Bethel Town fire station on the horizon – Mayor Moore
The plan to establish a fire brigade sub-station in the Bethel Town community in Westmoreland appears to be looming on the horizon, as according to Savanna-la-Mar's mayor, Councillor Bertel Moore, the planning is now at an advanced stage.
The need to establish a fire brigade substation to serve Bethel Town and surrounding areas is deemed quite necessary, as the communities have suffered millions of dollars worth of losses due to fire in recent times.
"We did have discussions with the JCF (the Jamaica Constabulary Force) recently, hoping that we can improve on where they are by establishing the fire station and the police station on the same compound," Moore told The Gleaner.
The nearest fire stations to the Bethel Town environs are located miles away in Savanna-la-Mar, Westmoreland; Montego Bay, St James; and Black River, St Elizabeth, which is far from ideal because of the long distance to get there.
Moore said that the plans for the fire brigade substation is now being fast-tracked and he believes having the facility on the same compound as the Bethel Town Police Station would be ideal.
"At present, we are trying to really work with a fire truck that we have here (Savanna-la-Mar) but if we should get everything in place, we would put that fire truck up there (in Bethel Town)," said Moore. "Once the fire brigade substation is set up there, we would get a water truck that would supply the water because the fire truck that we have doesn't have a big tank."
According to Moore, a fire brigade substation in Bethel Town would also mean firefighters can respond in a timely manner to fire in areas both in and outside of the parish such as Darliston in Westmoreland, New Market in St Elizabeth, and Ramble in Hanover.
"It is very important for a fire station to be put in that area. Anything catch a fire is burning down before any help arrive from Savanna-la-Mar, Montego Bay or Black River. So while I cannot give a timeline as to when we will begin, we are working very hard to see how soon we can get that up and running," he explained.
Westmoreland currently has four fire trucks assigned to the parish. However, two are in Savanna-la-Mar, one is in Negril, and the other is on loan to the St Ann Municipal Corporation.