Fri | Mar 24, 2023

Seven new firefighters recruited for St Ann

Published:Monday | June 13, 2022 | 12:08 AMCarl Gilchrist/ Gleaner Writer
A fire truck from the Ocho Rios Fire Station refills at a fire hydrant along Main Street, Ocho Rios.
A fire truck from the Ocho Rios Fire Station refills at a fire hydrant along Main Street, Ocho Rios.

The St Ann Fire Department got a boost during May with the addition of seven new firefighters to the parish.

This was revealed last Thursday at the monthly general meeting of the St Ann Municipal Corporation when Senior Deputy Superintendent Anthony Hinds, who is in charge of the St Ann Division, presented the fire report.

The seven firefighters were part of a cadre of 83 recruits who graduated on May 21 after 13 weeks of training at the Madge Saunders Conference Centre in Tower Isle, St Mary.

Citing the shortage of firefighters in St Ann and St Mary, Commissioner of the Jamaica Fire Brigade, Stewart Beckford, said the two parishes will benefit from the majority of the new firefighters. It is unclear how many have been assigned to St Mary.

He said that another 100 recruits will be trained this year, with the budget having already being approved.

Meanwhile, May 2022 saw a reduction in fires in St Ann, compared to May 2021, with the figure falling 61 per cent, from 119 last year to 46 this year.

Bush fires accounted for the majority of the fires with 24, while rubbish accounted for seven; motor vehicles, four, which resulted from traffic accidents; and commercial buildings, three, being among the balance.

The figures were contained in the report presented by Hinds.

Hinds noted that all three fire stations in the parish, St Ann’s Bay, Ocho Rios and Brown’s Town, were equipped with first responder units.

The fire department continued its building inspection during the month, with a total of 120 building being examined. These included 89 shelter facilities as the parish prepares for the hurricane season, 11 early-childhood institutions, five schools, two hotels and guest houses.