Formal structure for volunteer firefighters needed
Tamara Bailey, Gleaner Writer
WITH THE Jamaica Fire Brigade under pressure because of restraint constraints and the number of fires experienced by the parish for the last month, Mayor of Mandeville Brenda Ramsay, along with councillors for several divisions, have expressed the need for a formalised structure of volunteer firefighters.
According to a report from Assistant Superintendent at the Jamaica Fire Brigade Emrick Needham, the town of Mandeville has one operating unit, with another in Kingston for repairs. He said the assistance of the neighbouring station in Christiana and Clarendon is utilised, but some operations still prove unsuccessful.
To this end, Ramsay said with the fleet of the brigade not where they would want it to be, a plan must be made for people in the various communities to help themselves in an organised way, through the installation of volunteer firefighters
Needham said safety has to be a priority, and proper gear would have to be used in fighting fires.
In the last month, there have been 80 emergency calls in the parish of which 62 were genuine fires, nine malicious false alarms, eight special services and one false alarm with intent and one death.