MONTEGO BAY, St. James: The St. James Parish Council has advanced plans to acquire a first response unit to aid fire fighting efforts in rural sections of the parish.
According to Mayor of Montego Bay, Councillor Glendon Harris, the unit will be sited in either Cambridge or Maroon Town based on the geographical layout of these communities.
“We have areas such as Cambridge through to Catadupa, Maroon Town and Springfield through to Arcadia, which are all more than 45 minutes away from the parish centre of Montego Bay,” he explained. “The reality is that by the time a fire unit answers calls in these areas, the damage can be catastrophic.”
Mayor Harris, who is also chairman of the St. James Parish Council, believes that the first response unit is long overdue.
“This matter has been on the Council’s minutes from the 1970s where there are requests for fire stations or posts to be established in Cambridge and Maroon Town. But recognising the constraints, we came up with an alternative of placing first response units those communities,” he stated.
“We have reached out to Corporate Jamaica and we will be acquiring a Nissan Frontier 4X4 pick-up that will be retrofitted with a water tank and hose. We believe that this move will also empower persons who have been trained as fire wardens.”
The Council and the St. James Fire Department are working closely to guarantee the success of the initiative that will also incorporate a cadre of trained personnel to quickly respond in an emergency.
Fire Superintendent Dolfin Doeman described the move as “a good gesture that is welcomed and points to forward thinking”.