The Guyana Fire Service has spent millions buying new machines but they never seem to get to any fire on time, and when they do arrive, they usually start looking for water. The water which they carry is only sufficient to put out a fire in a fowl pen. Right away GWI is blamed for not having hydrants. When our colonial masters were here, we had hydrants. There were weekly tests by the fire brigade to all the hydrants around the city. When last did the Guyana Fire Service do such exercises? A visit to the fire stations will find many of the personnel simply waiting for a fire call. What else are they doing? Repairing hoses? This cannot be so for at fires the hoses leak like geyers, hence water is wasted. Has the Chief Fire Officer ever thought of having a tanker similar to those used by the gasolene companies which are used for moving thousands of gallons of gasolene to places like Berbice? Surely the fire service could have a tanker connected permanently to a tractor which would follow the fire brigade to a fire. It should have sufficient water to douse the fire while the officers look around for a hydrant or canal from which to get additional water.
Where have the fire hydrants gone? Have senior members of the fire service ever visited some of the scrap iron dealers’ yards to check for these hydrants? Have they ever raised their voices calling on the government to implement more drastic measures to deal with metal thieves? GWI is used as a scapegoat, but that utility has a global job and unless they get help from the citizens they will always have to carry the can.
Finally, I think the fire department needs a complete overhaul. We have the materials here; we don’t have to import more engines. What we need are people with a sense of responsibility.
(Name and address provided)