Reduction in complaints about fire brigade response time Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

Commissioner of the Jamaica Fire Brigade (JFB), Stewart Beckford, says there has been a noticeable reduction in the number of complaints from citizens about the brigade’s response time.

He said the acquisition of new fire units has increased the brigade’s capacity and response to emergencies.

“We procured and received 30 brand-new fire trucks in 2021, and those would have served us well over the last two years. So, we would have seen a significant reduction in the complaints that we would have been receiving in that regard,” said Beckford.

In highlighting factors that often impact the response time of the brigade, Beckford said motorists sometimes refuse to give way to fire trucks.

“The reality is that we operate in an environment where we still have indiscipline on the roads. Our fire trucks are huge; they are not cars that can bob and weave their way through thick traffic in our town centres,” he pointed out.

In addition, he said most fire stations are not located near housing developments, as the original concept was to protect commercial interests.

Stewart Beckford

“Hanover is a good example; we have one fire station that is located in the capital, Lucea, but there are other communities that are some distance away and have significant infrastructural development taking place over time,” he pointed out.

“What we are seeking to do is to expand our fire stations into areas where there are none now,” said Beckford.

He noted, further, that the JFB is working to adapt to the changing risk profile of various parishes across the island.

“We are well on our way to doing that through the recruitment of new firefighters, the purchase of additional fire units and, of course, most critically, the expansion of our fire stations,” the commissioner said, noting that a new station is soon be built in Ulster Spring, Trelawny.

He noted that the additional fire stations will improve the JFB’s response time, particularly in rural areas.

Beckford said the standard response time within the Corporate Area is 10 minutes.