Thanks, York Park Fire Brigade
The Editor, Sir: I would like to commend both the York Park Fire Brigade and The Fire Prevention Unit for their prompt and efficient service.
For several years, I have had the privilege of being served by both these institutions and always I have had such prompt and courteous service!
York Park is always polite and quick to respond, and the firemen themselves are amazing - they face such danger, and yet they are always polite and take the time to listen and ensure that all is well.
The Fire Prevention Unit spends a great deal of time ensuring that public awareness is delivered in an educational and firm manner. Their role's importance is often overlooked, and I would like to see a greater public awareness of this division and its services.
I have had them do fire and earthquake assessment and advise on the conduct of drills and education. This is done at schools, offices and any public forum that they are invited to. A safety monitor training programme is available for institutions who wish to train individuals to assist in evacuations in case of emergencies. They also have fire safety wardens who monitor safety regulations at large events, and can be present on site during the event in order to take immediate control if an emergency occurs. There is a plan review department, where building plans are reviewed from a fire safety perspective as well - the list goes on.
make public aware
I have most often had their assistance in following through on various individuals who burn rubbish in residential no-burn areas, they attend promptly to these reports and speak at neighbourhood committee meetings. I think it is important to give praise where it is due and to bring awareness to the public on what may appear insignificant - until we realise the need. During this drought, and living in an earthquake zone, our first responders in the event of a fire or earthquake would be our fire departments. It is important that we the citizens know that we can access training and information from The Fire Prevention Unit of the Jamaica Fire Brigade.
It is important that we remember that the lighting of fires to burn rubbish or clear land is in many areas illegal, and incredibly dangerous, and when a unit is dispatched to deal with a 'neighbourhood' fire like that, we are using up valuable resources unnecessarily. There could be a major fire at the same time and a unit is unavailable.
Thanks again, York Park Fire Department, for your quick response to my calls for offences in the Hope Pastures/Barbican/Widcombe areas. Keep up the good work!
I am, etc.,
The Editor, Sir:
I have always had a strong interest in the parliamentary/political affairs of our country. As a young boy, I used to look forward to watching with great interest our parliamentary sittings, especially the Budget debates which, but for any very special occasion of Parliament, would be just about the only scheduled live broadcasts of Parliament carried by the then Jamaica Broadcasting Corporation television station.
The parliamentary sittings then, though not completely devoid of sharp verbal exchanges, contained a decent amount of wit, and members would get their points across more diplomatically without the venom and crude behaviour that we have sadly come to expect of our Parliament - our supposed 'honourable' institution of government.
I continue to watch the parliamentary proceedings, which are now broadcast regularly, courtesy of the Public Broadcasting Corporation of Jamaica; however, the constant bad behaviour being displayed by too many of our parliamentarians, including some who are oxymoronically called 'honourable', is most off-putting.
But, then again, that is quite microcosmic or indicative of the level to which our society has descended morally.
The constant display of rabid partisanship and the accompanying nauseating propaganda can be very inimical to national interest and are often bereft of intellectual coherence and palatability.
Perhaps, to the extent obtainable in light of the severity of the situation, greater efforts must be made in screening candidates for political office, as financial prowess and party affiliation without the capacity for cerebral sophistication and a proclivity for civility and decency are insufficient criteria.
Our society is broken: it has grown very boorish, violent, abusive, and discriminatory, with the various agents of socialisation collectively failing us. Sadly, uptown is not much better than downtown; country is not much better than town.
How do we then fix Jamaica when the very leaders themselves - parliamentarians, the wider government apparatus, teachers, pastors, parents, et al - need cleansing or fixing?
I am, etc.,
KEVIN K.O. SANGSTER