Monday, 23 March 2015

Jamaica,s Fire Department Needs Better Equipment

The recent fire at the Riverton City disposal site has exposed how outdated the Jamaica’s’s fire department is in fighting certain types of fire. The dump at Riverton City occupies just over one hundred and twenty (120) acres. Given this fact it is time that the fire department is given more resources to effectively equip themselves with all available apparatuses to tackle fires spread over such a vast expanse of land.
Aerial firefighting as a technique in fire fighting and fire management has been around for quite some time. This technique has proven itself as an effective and efficient way of extinguishing fires. Without a doubt, Jamaica’s fire department needs to look at incorporating this practice to be used alongside the traditional ground based efforts in fighting fires.
This practice commonly referred to an air attack involves the use of fixed wing and rotorcraft aircrafts which are capable of holding  gallons and gallons of water, as well as, other fire fighting retardants, such as, specially formulated foams and gels. 
The relatively small size of these aircrafts makes it easy for them to be stored.  A possible site to house such aircrafts, popularly called water bombers could be the Tinson Pen aerodrome.
Clearly, the fire department is restricted by lack of financial resources.  As a result the central government should seriously look into the possibility of increasing the funding given to the country’s fire department.  Jamaica’s fire department needs to explore all the aviation resources available in fire fighting techniques as they continue to carry out a most difficult but necessary function.
 Additionally, the fire department also needs to ensure that they have at their disposal all the latest firefighting arsenal necessary to successful carry out their duties. Let us act now before another fire of such magnitude happens again.

Wayne Campbell

Twitter: @WayneCamo