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Late St. Ann firefighter to be honoured – Ocho Rios Fire Station to be renamed in his memory

The Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development will take steps to rename the Ocho Rios Fire Station in St. Ann to preserve the memory of the firefighter who lost his life on December 1 last year.

The station will be formally changed to the Ocho Rios Fire Lorenzo Garnet Douse Memorial Building in memory of the late firefighter, who was based at that location at the time of his death.

“Brothers and sisters, we are not just going to mourn Lorenzo’s passing. We are going to preserve his memory,” announced Portfolio Minister, Honourable Desmond McKenzie during the funeral service for the 25-year-old firefighter at Moneague College in St. Ann on January 28.

Firefighter Douse met an untimely demise while on duty on November 30, 2022, when he was struck by a motor vehicle that overtook a line of traffic and slammed into the back of a fire truck parked in the vicinity of the Reynolds Pier in Ocho Rios.

The Minister said too that the Ministry will also establish a scholarship in the young firefighter’s honour.

“I want to also announce the Lorenzo Garnet Douse Scholarship Fund that will be established to assist young firefighters, aged 18 to 25, to advance in their training,” he explained.

“This is our [Government] contribution to the preservation of his name. I know that his family and friends will always keep him alive in their hearts and in their memories.”

Minister McKenzie also used the somber occasion to remind motorists to exercise greater discipline on the roadways.

He indicated that the Jamaica Fire Brigade (JFB) has responded to over a 1,000 motor vehicle crashes across the island, pointing out that the level of indiscipline on the roads continues to be a major concern.

“Let us use the death of [this] young man to say to ourselves… ‘life is precious’. This is a man who could have gone on to be the next Commissioner of the JFB. But now, we will never know [because of] one person behind the steering wheel of a motorcar that tried to defy the odds and robbed a young child of a father, [and] robbed the JFB of a young man whose future no one [can] now determine.”

For his part, JFB Commissioner, Stewart Beckford, acknowledged the tremendous support received, following the passing of Firefighter Douse.

He said the condolences and unwavering support continue to pour in from across the island, as the nation mourns with the Brigade.

Added Commissioner Beckford: “Your intervention was timely and has proven useful in helping us through this most difficult period”.