Clarendon has received a brand-new state-of-the art fire engine. The unit was officially handed over by Local Government Minister, Hon. Noel Arscott during a ceremony held at the May Pen Fire Station on July 24. The fire engine is one of three fire trucks which have been procured by the government as it seeks to improve the capacity of the Jamaica Fire Brigade.
Minister Arscott said the deployment of the fire trucks highlights the government’s commitment to the continued development of the island’s fire services.
“Although Clarendon can only get one I am sure that it will help to improve your efforts in securing life and property in the parish. There is no question that we would have loved to purchase more than three units at this time, but we are all aware of the financial constraints. Nevertheless I want to say that we have already ordered three more and we are getting two from the Japanese. So come next year we are going to have an additional three units for the Jamaica Fire Brigade,” he said.
Acting Deputy Superintendent Orrett Barnswell in accepting the fire engine on behalf of the JCF Clarendon Division thanked Minister Arscott pointing out that in just one week of having the fire truck, the May Pen Fire Station have responded to a total of nineteen calls inclusive of fourteen bush fires and five house fires.
Meanwhile Minister Arscott joined Mayor of May Pen, Councillor Scean Barnswell to warn against the practice of clearing farm land using the slash-and-burn method. The Local Government Minister described the technique as an ‘ancient form of agriculture’ explaining that it is irresponsible for persons to go out and light fires during this period of severe drought. His Worship The Mayor Councillor Scean Barnswell urged citizens to be responsible in their water consumption as it is costing the Clarendon Parish Council some 30 million Jamaican dollars per month to truck potable water to drought-affected communities.
May Pen’s new fire engine, which has been in operation since Friday, July 18 is a four-wheel drive unit designed specifically for local conditions. It is outfitted with hydraulic ramps and generators and is capable of pumping water while in motion. It is fitted with a nozzle at the front which spurts water up to 150 feet. The unit can pump up to 700 gallons of water per minute. It also boasts an air-conditioned cab with fully-equipped breathing apparatus sets.