Guyana Fire Service eyes major developments in 2023

The Guyana Fire Service (GFS) has a host of developments in the pipeline for 2023, initiatives that will improve its quality and service to Guyanese. Among plans for the new year is the completion of the $648 million headquarters at Homestretch Avenue, Georgetown.

Minister of Home Affairs, Robeson Benn made the disclosure to media operatives Wednesday, following a parade held by the GFS.

Minister of Home Affairs, Robeson Benn

“We’re looking to finally open new fire stations and the footprint in interior areas. We’re looking forward to the presence of new ambulance services on the coast and hopefully soon in particularly populated areas of the interior. And more training, better training, better engagement, and better awareness,” Minister Benn explained.

The minister said there will be improved certification of buildings and new industrial facilities.

He also noted that the workforce will be expanded.

“We recently had a batch of 40 firemen and firewomen and 30 EMTs. Two weeks ago, we graduated those persons, so they’re now in the service.”

Chief Fire Officer (Ag) Gregory Wickham

Meanwhile, Chief Fire Officer (ag) Gregory Wickham said there have been major achievements in 2022, including training for staff responding to fires countrywide.

He said auxiliary groups have been established within communities and this is, “very, very good, because whilst we may take some time to reach the scene, these persons who are trained within those communities, they’ll be able to do first aid firefighting.”

The government allocated $2.7 billion for the Guyana Fire Service in 2022. Some $158.3 million was expended in the first half of the year for the procurement of a hydraulic platform, water bowsers, and an all-terrain firefighting vehicle.

Firefighters participating in the parade on Wednesday

The acquisition of firefighting equipment and tools and fire tenders, the Government of Guyana I must say have been doing a great job and very supportive to the Guyana Fire Service and so I want to applaud the extent of the support given by the Government of Guyana so that we’ll be able to carry out our mandate, that is to protect life and property from destruction by fire.  There were times when we just had one or two fire tenders around attending to fire now, you’ll have in any turnout, you’ll have two, three, four depends on the need,” Wickham expressed.

The parade was held in observance of Fire Prevention Month 2022, which is being held under the theme, “Working together as One Guyana to prevent fire.” The event was aimed at highlighting the services being provided by the Fire Service.