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New Montego Bay Fire Station slated for completion within two months

MONTEGO BAY, St. James (JIS NEWS): Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Honourable Desmond McKenzie, says the J$574 million fire station being built on Barnett Street in Montego Bay, St. James is on track for completion within the next two months.
The Minister, who toured the project on June 25 along with Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) Managing Director, Omar Sweeney, and members of the Jamaica Fire Brigade (JFB), told journalists that on completion, the new station will be the “most modern” in the Caribbean.
Mr. McKenzie said despite construction delays due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, “the contractors have been able to keep the project within budget.”
“So there is no overrun… and we will complete the project in a timely manner,” he stated adding that “the people of Montego Bay and the wider Jamaica will be proud of this investment.”
The facility’s construction, which commenced in June 2019, is being spearheaded by JSIF under its Disaster Vulnerability Reduction Programme.
When completed, the station will boast dormitory facilities to facilitate the seamless deployment of fire fighters across various shifts, and adequate administrative facilities and parking bays for trucks and other emergency vehicles.
Minister McKenzie said the Government remains committed to improving the conditions under which the JFB’s members work, through the upgrading of station facilities and provision of vital equipment.
“If we are asking the members of the Jamaica Fire Brigade to put their lives on the line, at least what the Government can do is to provide the proper environment for them to work in,” he maintained, while indicating that the Administration has spent close to J$1.7 billion on new facilities for the JFB since 2016.
For his part, JFB Deputy Commissioner in charge of Operations, Kevin Haughton, said the Brigade was satisfied with the progress of the project, noting that it would improve staff morale and enhance the efficiency of the fire service.
Deputy Commissioner Haughton further indicated that the new station had the capacity to accommodate some 250 firefighters and will “enable us to increase our female to male [ratio]… and that is something that we are very excited about.”
“We will also… be introducing a new service delivery… from the facility… which is the emergency medical service and that certainly will [bolster] the fire brigade’s operations,” he added.
Montego Bay Mayor, Councillor Leeroy Williams, who also toured the project, commended JSIF for its commitment to the resort city’s development, adding that “this structure will [further] enhance [that].”