Wednesday 23 October, 2019

Fire chief calls for one more station in Montego Bay

Stewart Beckford

Stewart Beckford

Commissioner of the Jamaica Fire Brigade (JFB), Stewart Beckford, has cited the need for the construction of at least one additional fire station in the fast developing city of Montego Bay in St James.

Speaking at the ground-breaking ceremony for the reconstruction of the Barnett Street Fire Station in Montego Bay recently, Beckford argued that “the establishment of an additional facility would reduce the distance to be travelled to fires, and thus improve the response time of the fire brigade.

“... And so as the city of Montego Bay grows, as the population grows, consideration will have to be given to the erection of at least one additional fire station in the city of Montego Bay,” Beckford posited.

There have been numerous instances of community outcry over the time the brigade has taken to get to fire scenes in the city, which has been on a broad expansion mode over recent years.

For his part, Montego Bay Mayor, Homer Davis, reiterated his call for the establishment of three satellite fire response stations in rural sections of the parish.

“Ladies and gentlemen, I again renew my call for the establishment of three satellites first response stations in the rural parts of St James, namely: Maroon Town, Cambridge and Adelphi. These towns are an average 20 miles away from Montego Bay, and (the proposed facilities) will prove valuable if there were to be any form of disasters in those and adjoining communities,” Davis said.

The $534.9 million Barnett Street Fire Station construction is slated to be completed over 12 months, and is being undertaken by the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) under its Disaster Vulnerability Reduction Programme (DVRP).

The new fire station, which will have the capacity to house 140 firefighters, is to replace the old Barnett Street facility that was demolished in 2006. Since then, firefighters have been operating from the Montego Bay Freeport location.

The Freeport location apart, there is also a fire station in Ironshore in the parish.

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