100 smoke detectors distributed to Tiger Bay residents during fire emergency response training

The Ministry of Home Affairs, through the Guyana Fire Service (GFS), on Sunday took a fire safety and prevention training to residents of Tiger Bay, Georgetown.

Minister of Home Affairs, Robeson Benn led the emergency response exercise to the community, where he interacted with residents.

Minister of Home Affairs, Robeson Benn, MP, interacts with a community member of Tiger Bay.

About 100 smoke detectors were distributed to residents. Fire fighters moved from door to door patiently demonstrating how the device must be used and installed.

Minister Benn said the training has come at an important time.

“This is part of fire prevention week 2021. In spite of the disappointments and set back we have had recently, particularly speaking to the fire at the Brickdam Police Station, we have to carry on. We have to improve the confidence of the communities in the work of the fire service and the ministry and one of the critical things is prevention,” Minister Benn said.

A resident of Tiger Bay extinguishing fire during the awareness exercise this morning.

Residents were also shown the correct way to use a fire extinguisher. Consultations were also held on general fire safety precautions which residents should follow.

Minister Benn said handheld fire grenades will also be handed over to vulnerable communities to heighten awareness to fire prevention and safety. Hand held fire grenades are designed of fragile glass and are thrown into the base of a small fire to extinguish it. It helps to buy time while the fire tender gets to the fire scene.

A resident of Tiger Bay watches on as a fire officer demonstrate how to install a smoke detector.

The minister said too, that the GFS will be hosting similar awareness exercises in other communities across Guyana.

“We will run this throughout the remaining of this year and the next year,” the minister noted.

Acting Fire Chief, Mr. Gregory Wickham said it is important for citizens to get firsthand knowledge of how to treat a minor fire blaze before it escalates. 

A resident of Tiger Bay extinguishing fire during the awareness exercise this morning.

“We would prefer to have persons educated as to what they can do to prevent fires rather than fighting fires. However, if a fire does occur, we are prepared to do firefighting. But the very first step in fire safety is prevention.”

The fire chief said the government has made significant investment in the Fire Service, which has helped in the crafting of programmes to better train staff for the job.

Fire Prevention Officer, Mr. Sheldon Sauns shares a light moment with a child during the outreach at Tiger Bay.

Fire Prevention Officer, Mr. Sheldon Sauns said Sunday’s exercise was one of many activities planned for this year’s national fire prevention week which is being observed under the theme “It’s better being safe with fire prevention in place.”