Fire Service hosts exercise to test new firefighting equipment

The Guyana Fire Service (GFS) held a practical exercise to demonstrate the use of newly procured firefighting equipment that was purchased by the government through the Ministry of Home Affairs in 2023.

The demonstration took place on Water Street in Georgetown on Friday, and showcased the GFS’s ability to tackle fires in high-rise buildings and other related incidents with Minister of Home Affairs, Robeson Benn, Chief Fire Officer (Ag), Gregory Wickham, and senior ranks of the agency observing.

Minister of Home Affair, Robeson Benn

During the exercise, firefighters used a fireboat, an aerial hydraulic platform that can reach up to 130 feet in the air, and water tenders stationed on the ground. The fire chief explained that the demonstration was a practical operational display of what the firefighters would do in the event of a fire.

“It may be firefighting that maybe tall distances away from the river but our boat will lend support through the hosts that we lay on the terrain and then to have extended firefighting capability with water by the use of the other pieces of equipment,” the fire chief highlighted.

Wickham also expressed satisfaction with the ranks’ ability to respond efficiently to a fire.

Minister Benn emphasised the importance of elevating the agency’s role in firefighting by increasing its capacity, readiness and awareness. He commended the coordination between the fireboat, the skylift and their road assets, highlighting the commendable efforts made by the Fire Service.

“I am fairly well satisfied but … this is a continuous experience awareness type of activity. So, that has to continue and it has to always be reinforced,” Minister Benn expressed

The government plans to purchase more firefighting equipment for the Fire Service in 2024 as part of its focus on fire prevention and safety. These include the acquisition of a new fireboat, a new sky lift and three or four more road units.

In budget 2023, an allocation of $489 million was made to further augment the equipment stock of the fire service, an increase from $400 million in 2022.