New vehicles and equipment have been handed over to the Fire Service.
Minister of National Security Fitzgerald Hinds told fire officials during the handing over ceremony at Wrightson Road, Port-of-Spain headquarters yesterday that they should expect more state-of-the-art equipment.
The minister noted that a comprehensive maintenance plan will be put in place to ensure that there is value for money.
He said the problem with breathing apparatus will be no more.
Hinds said, "The service has begun the repair and maintenance of equipment that has been acquired. I've heard a few bits of public comment, I raised the matter when I first did with your Chief Fire Officer Mr Bristow he responded promptly. He told me that equipment which had been ordered was in transit. Of course, as we all know, COVID-19 has affected international business and international trade, the parts and equipment will come in. Happily, when they are here, the work to repair equipment has begun. It means therefore that on a daily basis more and more bits of this type of breathing apparatus will come into your deployment. And therefore we hope that the problems as highlighted would quietly recede. And we get on with the business of firefighting in the way we know."
The Fire Service received vans and ladders which were procured by Amalgamated Security Services Limited and Massy Limited.
The minister noted that "Cabinet has approved the purchase of custom-built water tenders to augment the capacity of the Trinidad and Tobago Fire Service, particularly for the Woodbrook Fire Station. And it is envisaged that that will serve large chunks of the city of Port- of- Spain and environs. When necessary, the capabilities of this water tender will include the dispensation of foam, and it will be set with specialised rescue equipment that was approved recently in the Cabinet".
He added: "It is no one order, as you know, these specialised equipment are custom-built, and they take some time. But we look forward to the arrival, we look forward to their application in the service of the fire organisation and the people of Trinidad and Tobago.
On the issue of fire stations, the minister noted that works have commenced to refurbish them.
He said, "Significant refurbishment work has been undertaken and is ongoing at Tunapuna and Scarborough Fire Stations as well as right here–Fire Service headquarters. Where we are situated today, this infrastructural development is being pursued to ensure that members of the Fire Service are provided with a working environment in which they can do their job effectively and efficiently."