Firefighting boost for western Jamaica

May 16, 2017
Local Government minister Desmond McKenzie exits one of the fire trucks donated to the St Elizabeth fire service by the Japanese Government after trying out the controls. At left is acting commissioner of the fire brigade, Raymond Spencer.

Funding has been earmarked for the upgrading of the courtyard at the Junction Fire Station in St Elizabeth. Desmond McKenzie, minister of local government and community development, said, too, that he has asked the mayor of Black River to provide an estimate to undertake the necessary repairs at the Black River station.

He said that funds will also be provided to retrofit two fire units in Westmoreland so that they can be brought back into use.

McKenzie said the Government will be spending significant sums to improve the condition of fire stations across the island.

According to McKenzie, repair work is already under way at the Buff Bay and Port Antonio stations in Portland, and more than $6 million will be spent to construct a perimeter fence at the Negril facility in Westmoreland.

McKenzie, who was speaking at a ceremony at the Junction Fire Station on Friday, said the Government "recognises that the men and women who put their lives at risk, as our first responders must be given the requisite tools with which to execute their jobs. We want to ensure that the environment in which they live and from which they operate is conducive to good work."

Japan's ambassador to Jamaica, Masanori Nakano, officially handed over three firefighting trucks and a water tanker to serve St Elizabeth and adjoining parishes.

"Japan is happy to know that from today onwards, the Junction and Black River fire brigades will now have the emergency resources to provide urgent attention and care for the people within the parish of St Elizabeth and adjoining territories," he said.

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