Wed | Nov 20, 2019

Help coming for Trelawny Fire Department

Published:Wednesday | October 23, 2019 | 12:13 AMLeon Jackson/Gleaner Writer

WESTERN BUREAU:

The Trelawny Fire Department is set to benefit significantly from a US$1-million budget that the Jamaica Fire Brigade has in its coffers to carry out remedial works.

Stewart Beckford, commissioner of the Jamaica Fire Brigade, told The Gleaner that by the end of 2019, the Trelawny Fire Department will be the recipient of two brand new water tankers, an ambulance, and a pumper truck.

“We want to ensure the fire station, because of the position it occupies in Trelawny, is as equipped as is needed. One of the tankers is presently available, in terms of the paperwork, to make it roadworthy in terms of licensing,” said Beckford. “The tanker will be delivered by the end of October.”

The commissioner said the fire department was facing challenges with the repair of ambulances because the supplier often had a lack of spare parts.

“The ambulances in our fleet here in Jamaica are of a certain brand. We only have one car company in Jamaica that carries parts for these ambulances,” said Beckford. “Parts have to be ordered, and the process is time-consuming.”

As a long-term fix, the fire department head said they will be looking at procuring vehicles for which parts could be obtained much easier.

“Going forward, we will order from a company that will have parts readily available. In addition, the ambulances we order will be purpose-built. This will ensure that these ambulances will be fully equipped to deliver the kind of service required,” he said.

Beckford further told The Gleaner that there are ongoing discussions on the prospect of siting a satellite fire station in southern Trelawny.

The inadequacy of the ambulance services in Trelawny was recently amplified when Madrika Cole, a grade-five student at Granville Primary School, fainted in class. Help was sought from the fire department, but no vehicle was available. The child was pronounced dead on arrival at Falmouth Hospital.