Fire Service receives over $273M in equipment to boost operation
The capacity of the Guyana Fire Service has been enhanced with the acquisition of some $273.4 million in equipment received from the government through the Ministry of Home Affairs.
Chief Fire Officer (ag), Gregory Wickham received the keys for the equipment from Permanent Secretary, Mae Toussaint Jr Thomas, at the ministry’s Brickdam office, on Wednesday.
The equipment includes a $255 million hydraulic platform acquired from renowned British-owned company Angloco Limited, an $8 million bus, and a $9.8 million ambulance.
During the handing over ceremony, Minister Robeson Benn noted the significance of the equipment, especially considering the challenging period in Guyana’s history, whereby persons have lost their lives to fire.
“Nevertheless, we have to, of course, learn from the experience. We have to lean on other fire services and on providers like Angloco, to learn from them, to acquire the best equipment, to get maintenance support so that we use the equipment we have in a more efficacious way,” Minister Benn stated.
He highlighted that the acquired pieces of equipment are integral to the Fire Service, due to the nation’s rapid development in the construction sector, and urged for them to be well maintained.
“The acquisition of the new ladder truck…is in response to the fact that we are having new high-rise buildings in the country. The model has changed, and therefore, the responses in relation to fire protection have to be different and new,” he stated.
Meanwhile, the home affairs minister stressed that there should be more engagement with the public, businesses, and schools on the issue of fire safety.
The Fire Service received $81.8 million in vehicles from the ministry in January in an effort to improve service delivery.
Some $400 million was expended by the government to acquire firefighting equipment in 2022 and another $489 million will be spent this year to further augment the equipment stock.
British High Commissioner to Guyana, Jane Miller was also present at the handing over.