Modern technology to play greater role in future fire response
─ GFS senior officers’ conference opens
Minister of Home Affairs, Robeson Benn, M.P, has called on the Guyana Fire Service (GFS) to employ advanced technology to enhance its capability to readily respond to emergencies.
Minister Benn was at the time delivering the feature address at the opening of the two-day GFS Senior Officers’ Conference, at the Guyana Police Force’s Training Centre. The conference is being held under the theme ‘Strengthening our capabilities through training and use of technology for a safer Guyana.’
“Our training has to be stepped up to advance to the level where we can use appropriate technology to fight fires related to the new development in oil and gas,” Minister Benn underscored.
He said the fire service needs to understand the transformation the economy is experiencing, and the need for technology to effectively handle fires in the near future. Government, the minister noted, has been making the necessary investments to boost the capacity of the GFS.
“We have been spending the money, bringing in the new assets and we want to see them properly employed. We want to see our fire fighters properly equipped out there when they go to fight a fire. Not simply for the persons who are affected by the fire, but also for the protection of the firefighters,” the minister stated.
The home affairs minister said he is pleased with the improvements the GFS has made over the past year. He said despite a number of fires that were maliciously set, the fire service recorded a 22 percent reduction in total fires for 2021.
Chief Fire Officer (ag) Gregory Wickham said the GFS in 2021 was able to accomplish 93 percent of its 10-point strategic plan, noting that the entity is committed to executing its duties to save life and property.
Additionally, it was highlighted that the fire service was able to construct a new fire station in Eccles, East Bank Demerara along with establishing auxiliary firefighters in the islands of Leguan and Wakenaam, Region Three.
Permanent Secretary to the Home Affairs Ministry, Mae Toussaint Jr Thomas, Commissioner of Police (ag) Clifton Hicken, Director of Prisons (ag) Nicklon Elliot, Head, Customs Anti-Narcotic Unit James Singh and other senior officials were also in attendance.