Jamaica News, Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Desmond McKenzie, says more money will be spent to upgrade the Jamaica Fire Brigade (JFB), as the Government seeks to strengthen the Brigade’s capabilities to respond to emergencies.
Speaking at a ceremony to officially open the Montego Bay Fireboat Station in St. James on December 28, the Minister said the Government is seeking to add mini pumper fire engines to the fleet of the JFB’s emergency department.
Mini pumper fire engines are designed as more mobile counterparts to the full-size fire trucks and are used to respond to emergencies in areas that larger units are unable to reach.
According to Minister McKenzie, the Ministry has been in dialogue with the Board of the JFB for the acquisition of the mini fire units.
“We have had communities expanding, but yet we didn’t have any expansion of the services of the Jamaica Fire Brigade. This Administration is mindful of it, and we have been having discussions with the Board to look at establishing what we would call mini response units across the country,” the Minister added.
He informed that a team from the JFB is to visit Canada in 2019 to get a first-hand view of the mini fire units, and, if satisfied, Government will move to purchase the trucks.
“The Brigade has been invited by a company to visit Canada to have a look at some of those units. Once the Brigade agrees that these units can assist in their fighting capabilities, I will make the necessary request for the funding to secure some of these trucks to complement the work of the Jamaica Fire Brigade,” the Minister said.
In the meantime, Mr. McKenzie has praised the Jamaica Fire Brigade for the work it has been doing.
“I believe that the JFB is easily one of the most effective agencies of Government, and I want to congratulate the men and women who are serving and those who served previously,” he said.
The new Montego Bay fireboat station will be manned by 34 firefighters.