The recent opening of housing schemes along the Demerara coast has prompted calls for additional fire stations to be erected in places where these new schemes exist.
Over the last few months there seemed to have been an upsurge in the number of fires throughout the coast and many of these structures have been destroyed, or almost completely destroyed. People blame the response of the Guyana Fire Service.
Many residents of the East Coast Demerara have highlighted the fact that they do not feel safe, as the accessibility to fire protection is limited. “The fire service is in the city,” said an Enmore resident. “If we house fuh bun down, how dem go come fast?”
In Georgetown there are some five fire stations while on the West Coast Demerara there is a fire station at Leonora. The East Coast Demerara is void of any fire stations, but the fire stations across the county of Demerara are sometimes bolstered by the support of the fire services of the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo), which sometimes respond to fires nearby their respective estates.
Despite common thought, most of the time when the fires are in areas outside of Georgetown, the Fire Service responds quickly but the distance that has to be covered oftentimes results in the buildings in question being destroyed before the Fire Service arrives on the scene.
The expansion of the housing estates, especially on the East Bank Demerara, has prompted persons to encourage the establishment of the fire stations nearby to these housing areas.
Fire Chief, Lawrence David, explained that as there is development and expansion of the population of a country, additional fire stations will be needed to cope with the increased fire risk. He noted that most of the recent fires have been in areas which are some distance away from the nearest fire station.
“The distance hinders our response time, and in doing so affects our effectiveness,” said Lawrence.
Minister of Home Affairs, Clement Rohee, could not be reached for a comment.
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