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Work is to begin this year, to construct two new Fire Stations in Jamaica. This was announced by Local Government and Community Development Minister, Desmond McKenzie, in his contribution to the Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives. “I am pleased to announce that the Fire Brigade will begin the construction of two new fire stations in this financial year, to be located in Port Maria in St. Mary, and the second City, Montego Bay. In the next financial year, we intend to focus on building a new facility in Yallahs in St. Thomas. The commencement and completion of these projects is vital, as both the Port Maria and Montego Bay Fire Stations have been closed for over 7 years. It is also the case that the building at Port Royal Street, which now houses the Headquarters of the Brigade, is no longer fit for purpose. We are committed to constructing new Headquarters in another location. I have already mandated the Board, led by the Hon. Russell Hadeed, to proceed in this direction.” The Minister also announced that the work of the Fire Brigade will be bolstered by new personnel. “The Brigade recently graduated one hundred and five (105) new firefighters, and another one hundred (100) are to be trained in this financial year, beginning in August. When this cohort of fire-fighters commences service, the personnel shortage being experienced will be greatly reduced, with only 60 positions left to be filled, by the next financial year.” Mr. McKenzie also disclosed to the House, that in this financial year, the Fire Brigade will obtain new equipment including: ? 2 fire trucks (pumpers) ? 2 water tankers ? 50 full face respirators ? 90 sets of head-to-toe bunker gears ? 26 Breathing Apparatus sets ? 600 pairs of gloves and fire-fighting hoses. Under the Jamaica Disaster Vulnerability Reduction Project, (DVRP) the Brigade will acquire 5 Water Tankers and 4 Pumpers. Additionally, the Agency will receive: ? 300 Bunker Gear Head-to-toe suits ? 300 Breathing Apparatus Sets ? 300 lengths of Fire Hoses and ? 5 Gas detection meters

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