Capacity of Guyana Fire Service boosted with 74 new firefighters

The Guyana Fire Service (GFS) has now been boosted with 74 new firefighters after completing a rigorous 11-week training course at the Leonora Training Centre, West Coast Demerara.

The firemen and women who hail from Regions Two to Ten were charged to serve with distinction during a simple graduation ceremony on Monday.

Minister Benn and Chief Fire Officer (ag) Gregory Wickham with some of the awarded firefighters and other personnel from the GFS Training Centre

Minister of Home Affairs, Robeson Benn said he is optimistic that with the implementation of new strategies, and enhanced firefighting capabilities including the new firefighters, the GFS will be more responsive.

“We see an expanded, more efficient, more knowledgeable, and more responsive Guyana Fire Service. This is also perhaps the highest pass rate that we are seeing in the service. We will continue to identify by reviewing performance, engagement, and discipline, to find the best of you. Because the work that you do is of critical importance to our country,” Minister Benn noted.

The minister disclosed the intention to expand the GFS’s rescue and support services, especially since it is currently the sole entity handling such incidents.

Minister of Home Affairs, Robeson Benn, and the best-graduating firefighter for course two of 2023, Ja’el Yarris

He stated, however, that the only way to achieve this is based on the performance of the firefighters.

The home affairs minister stressed that the fire officers must have a continued willingness to learn and to better themselves.

“Even here you see that we are building a new fire service and we are discussing the expansion of the service to Parika and Vreed-en-Hoop, because we have had challenges in those two areas as well. We are also talking about buying new fire assets,” the minister stated.

Meanwhile, Chief Fire Officer (ag) Gregory Wickham, encouraged the men and women to display integrity, and respect and to always be disciplined.

The 74 new firefighters

“You will be returning to your respective communities and districts to boost or strengthen firefighters who are there already. You are recruits filled with energy and enthusiasm, you should go out there and shine,” Wickham charged.

During the graduation, the firefighters were also awarded prizes for best practical firefighter, and best drill students, among others. Ja’el Yarris copped the firefighter overall title.

The 11-week training ran from October 22 to December 15.