Commissioner of the Jamaica Fire Brigade (JFB) Stewart Beckford says that the more than $100-million reconstruction of the Yallahs Fire Station in St Thomas is a timely development that will directly benefit the people of the parish.
The construction of the new fire station is being funded by the World Bank. It will replace the old one that had fallen into severe disrepair.
Work on the two-storey station, of $109.5 million, will include male and female dormitories, two engine bays, a kitchen, recreation room, fitness area, and a control room.
The building will be able to accommodate up to 40 firefighters with 10 on duty at any given time.
It will also feature bathrooms, a rainwater-collection system, and emergency room, as well as a venue for conferences and training sessions for the JFB.
Beckford said the project is long overdue.
“For many years now, the men and women of the Yallahs Fire Station have occupied that station in less-than-ideal conditions.
“So to have this station built will no doubt improve the morale of the men and women there. As it relates to the communities, I am sure the people will be extremely happy about the news,” Beckford said at yesterday’s contract signing at Jamaica House.
He said that extensive work was done on the Spanish Town Fire Station and that the upgrading of the May Pen station has begun.
In addition, the Fire Brigade recently completed rehabilitation of the Frankfield station.
The commissioner said that Phase One of the rehabilitation of the Falmouth station is now completed and that the second segment of that project will soon get under way.
Sixty-five per cent of the 34 fire stations across the island are in need of various levels of upgrades.
Further, Beckford said that the most recent JFB review indicated that Portmore was in dire need of at least two fire stations. According to him, the review has been revised twice since 2009.
“There are discussions taking place now as to where ideally to locate these, so the issue of finding land is critical. The municipal corporation in Portmore will be key in assisting us identify suitable lands for the construction in the Sunshine City,” said Beckford.
Waterford, which is located on the periphery of the town, is home to the only fire station in all of Portmore.
Two water tender trucks were also handed over to the fire brigade yesterday. They are earmarked to travel with first responders to accident scenes.
The Mack trucks each has an 8,000-litre reinforced coated steel tank with maximum pumping capacity of 1,000 litres per minute.
They come equipped with tools such as fire extinguishers, hydrant hoses and adapters, hydrant keys and suction wrenches. The vehicles will be deployed in Falmouth, Trelawny and Manchester.
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