By Latoya Giles
Minister of Home Affairs Clement Rohee on Friday handed over the keys to five fire tenders, one hose lane lorry and one trailer pump to the Guyana Fire Service.
The ceremony was held on the National Park tarmac.
Fire Chief Marlon Gentle told the media that the fire service continues to be ungraded, which is keeping with the Strategic Goals which were designed in 2006.
Gentle stated that the hose laying lorry is necessary for urban fire fighting, especially in central Georgetown.
It was explained that because of the unavailability of fire hydrants, the hose laying lorry would help them move large amounts of water to help them fight fires. Gentle said that the piece of equipment was already tested in the Hadfield Street Fire, which saw two buildings being razed in a suspected arson attack.
He noted that there were about 1.2 miles of hose which could go as far as the Demerara River to Albert Street.
He explained that the trailer pump is used in the hinterland areas. Gentle said that the Hinterland Fire Strategy was developed to ensure residents living in the outlying regions benefit from fire protection.
Government plans to have areas such as Mabaruma, Port Kaituma, Mahdia, Lethem, and Kwakwani involved.
Gentle asserted that with the new equipment the Fire Service would be at an advantage to fight fires.
The fire chief further stated that so far for 2011, there has been a 30 per cent decrease in total fire calls, 34 per cent decline in the number of persons affected by fires, a 10 per cent decrease in the destruction of properties, a 23 per cent decrease in buildings severely damaged by fires; a 16 per cent reduction in deaths, and a 22 per cent decrease in buildings slightly damaged by fires.
“These reductions are indicative of the fire service’s interventions and timely responses,” Gentle noted.
Minister Rohee said that the equipment, which was procured at a cost of approximately $ 92 million, is in keeping with the Government’s commitment to better equipping the Guyana Fire Service.
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