By anguillian October 12, 2012 09:00



Senior students at St. Mary's Preschool in fire service helmets

The highlight of a week of activities – October 7-13 – to mark National Fire Prevention Week in Anguilla, was the announcement that a new state-of-the-art Fire Station was being planned for the island.

The announcement, made in a radio broadcast, by Minister of Infrastructure, Communications and Housing, Evan Gumbs, followed a church service attended by Fire Officers at the Church of God(Holiness) on the Queen Elizabeth Avenue on Sunday.

“We are in the planning stage for the construction of a new state-of-the-art Fire Station as well as ensuring that we have personnel trained at international standards,” Mr. Gumbs said. “We are also in the process of improving the legislative framework for the management and operations of the Anguilla Fire and Rescue Service.”

Young student operating water hose

Speaking on the theme of the week of activities, “Have Two Ways Out”, Mr. Gumbs continued: “Everyone at home should have at least two emergency escape plans using separate exits, and practice them at least twice a year. The plans should involve, at the very minimum, the routes to take and where to assemble outside.

“Businesses such as night clubs and supermarkets should have multiple clearly-marked fire escape doors as well as functioning smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to provide early warning…The Government of Anguilla is also taking proactive steps in ensuring that the Anguilla Fire and Rescue Service is prepared for any emergency that may arise…”

The Minister was grateful to the Fire Officers for their continued service and dedication in keeping Anguilla safe. “We are indebted to them for their service despite the very trying and difficult conditions under which they work,” he stated. “The chances of a serious fire can be significantly lowered by proper planning. I encourage everyone, whether a home or business owner, to prepare for such an event as much as possible, and always to have in mind this year’s theme: ‘Have To Ways Out.’”

Meanwhile, at the church service, Pastor Philip Gumbs said in part: “We commend the Fire Officers for their service to the Anguilla community, and for their acts of sacrifice…even at the risk of their lives at times. We thank them for their service to the island.”

Children operating water hose

Responding, Chief Fire Officer, Martin Richardson, said: “We are trying to do the best possible job we can with the equipment we have. Our biggest need is assistance with new appliances. We received some equipment, but we need more. Eventually, the way Anguilla is growing right now, we need to have a sub-station some place and we should start looking into this.”

As part of Fire Prevention Week, the Fire Officers included in their activities visits to pre-schools and one of the senior citizens homes on the island.


By anguillian October 12, 2012 09:00


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