Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Message from Chief Fire Officer - Let's Be Fire Smart

Fires may occur at any given time of year, month, week or day, but there are certain times when the risk or likelihood of a fire increases. One such high-risk period is during the Christmas season.

This increase in fire risk and personal injury comes about because of the traditional behaviour of people around this time. In most instances, persons mean well as they set about to host and entertain friends and family, while treating them to the traditional Christmas lunch or dinner.

This, of course, is preceded by putting up many decorative lights. Additionally, the use of decorative and aromatic candles, increased electrical usage by way of appliances and lighting, long curtains near the stove, frequent open flames through the cooking of many dishes, can contribute to fire hazards. Also, children as well as adults becoming fatigued from shopping and house cleaning.

These events can lead to complacency, carelessness, neglect and, eventually, unforeseen emergencies. Persons become so engrossed in the traditions of the season that sometimes common sense and prudence, overshadowed by the sights and sounds of Christmas, and benevolence and safety concerns are forgotten.

I am imploring the general public to enjoy the festive season, but be responsible as you go about your activities. While you may not be able to eliminate the imposed risk, you can certainly make a concerted effort at managing it.

The Barbados Fire Service has been working assiduously to educate the public in the areas of fire prevention and fire safety. We have heightened awareness in the value of installing smoke alarms and extinguishers in private homes, businesses and other buildings.

Based on statistics so far for this year, we have experienced a significant reduction in fire calls when compared to previous years (please see table). This is obviously not an occasion when the service should be resting on its laurels, but rather strengthen its efforts to ensure the downward trend is sustained.

Of course, the responsiveness of the public to our fire safety messages and the increasing consciousness of property owners about safeguarding their investments, have contributed in no small way to the results we are now seeing.

One area of concern not mentioned in the statistics is the frequency with which the Fire Service is called out for false or malicious reports.

Those calls resulted in the service being mobilised 116 times in 2007, 138 times in 2008 and 120 times so far this year. It is a significant waste of resources which could otherwise be utilised in legitimate activities.

We are imploring members of the public who find this amusing to desist from this practice. We want, however, the interest in and commitment to safety to continue. It will greatly assist us if the public could follow the safety tips listed below to aid them in having a blessed and fire-free Christmas.

By Lloydson Phillips - Acting Chief Fire Officer

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Passengers Hurt As US Airliner Goes Careening Out Of Kingston Airport

One hundred and forty-five passengers aboard American Airlines flight
331 from Miami narrowly missed death as the aircraft overran the Norman Manley International Airport runway in Kingston, ending inches away from the sea along the Port Royal main road last night.

More than 40 passengers aboard the Boeing 738 aircraft were taken to hospital, The Gleaner has learnt. According to Information Minister Daryl Vaz, most of those suffered broken bones.

"Some (passengers) were shaken up badly, some are suffering from trauma and broken bones," Robert Mais, a passenger who walked off without any scratches told The Gleaner.

According to Mais, the plane, which was scheduled to depart Miami at 7 p.m., was delayed for an hour. The trip, he said, was bumpy "and the landing was terrible".

"We touched down pretty fast," he added, noting that he could hear the engine's reverse throttle, though the plane didn't seem to be slowing down.

Instinctively, he said he placed his head down, "and it was over in a flash. I hardly felt the impact of the crash".

Mais, who was seated in seat 6A in the business class section, said there was total darkness on impact, and everything was thrown out of the overhead compartments. He, however, did not realise the impact of the damage to the aircraft until he felt rain coming through the roof.

"When I came off the aircraft I saw that we were about 10-15 feet from the sea and boulders, so I walked on the beach to the road, where we were picked up by a bus."

Chairman of the Airports Authority of Jamaica, Mark Hart, when contacted, said it was possible that torrential rainfall affecting the island could have caused the pilot to experience visibility problems.

"It is obviously a blessing that at this time of the year, what could have turned out to be a catastrophe, we were saved from," said Hart.

At least one other airline was affected by the mishap. A Virgin Atlantic plane, fully loaded, heading for the United Kingdom, was delayed for an unknown period as the runway had to be closed.

Paul Hall, vice-president of NMIA, said the airport would be closed indefinitely and all flights would be rerouted to Sangster International in MoBay.

Efforts to get a comment from American Airlines officials locally proved futile.

About midnight, two ambulances pulled up at the Kingston Public Hospital with at least 10 passengers with minor injuries, one with a busted lip, others suffering with body pain.

Some passengers had been admitted earlier with broken bones, a source told this newspaper. Most of those admitted had head injuries.

The entrance to the accident and emergency unit was heavily guarded by more than a dozen armed police personnel.

Doctors and nurses were last night being called from home to boost resources at the reportedly short-staffed KPH, The Gleaner learnt.

Shortly after midnight, Edith Allwood-Anderson, president of the Nurses' Association of Jamaica, rushed into the casualty department, her face etched with concern.

At the Harbour View roundabout, amid pelting rain, police personnel cordoned off the area, blocking vehicular traffic to the accident site.

Superintendent Michael Bailey of the Kingston East Division, who was manning operations there, told The Gleaner at 12:30 this morning that no more injured passengers remained at the crash site. He said the police blockade at the Port Royal section of the Palisadoes strip would remain indefinitely.


Saturday, December 19, 2009

Christmas Message From Bajan Fire Fighters

The end of another year is near and we find it necessary to thank our members, friends, and all other persons affiliated with the Bajan Fire Fighters’ Network. We extend our heartfelt thanks to you for your invaluable assistance throughout the year.

It has been a spectacular 12 months and your support is much appreciated. We launched our Facebook Fan Page on September 4, 2009 and the response has been tremendous. The move from our Facebook Group to a Fan Page has brought numerous benefits with the addition of several useful applications. Our Facebook fans now have access to our YouTube videos, Ustream channel, Fan Polls, and Blogger news feed without ever leaving Facebook.

Our YouTube channel was created on April 28, 2009 and continues to generate much interest. Plans are already well underway for our video diary which should commence in January 2010. Twitter has proven to be extremely useful in allowing our network to disseminate information in a timely manner as incidents unfold. The Ning platform has also enabled our network to better organize our members from the fire service and enhanced our ability to publish information for firefighters via various special interest groups while in the same network.

We are excited about the growth of our Network and anxiously look forward to serving you in the New Year. We wish you the warmest of holiday greetings and pledge to continue providing the same quality social interaction.

Have a very Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

World AIDS Day 2009

Started on 1st December 1988, World AIDS Day is about increasing awareness, fighting prejudice and improving education. The World AIDS Day theme for 2009 is 'Universal Access and Human Rights'. World AIDS Day is important in reminding people that HIV has not gone away, and that there are many things still to be done.

According to UNAIDS estimates, there are now 33.4 million people living with HIV, including 2.1 million children. During 2008 some 2.7 million people became newly infected with the virus and an estimated 2 million people died from AIDS. Around half of all people who become infected with HIV do so before they are 25 and are killed by AIDS before they are 35.

The Barbados Fire Service HIV/AIDS Committee was established in June 2007 and seeks to provide assistance, support and education to members of the Fire Service and their families. The committee also has a secondary role as a member of the national HIV/AIDS campaign.

Fire Officers have donated to the HIV/AIDS Food Bank and attended numerous sensitization programmes during the last two years. The HIV/AIDS Committee has also been instrumental in piloting the creation of an HIV/AIDS Policy for the members of the Barbados Fire Service. On this World AIDS Day 2009 we ask that you continue to support HIV/AIDS awareness and the work of the various local organizations.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Happy Independence Day Barbados

The Barbados Fire Brigade, which consisted of one station, was established through an Act of Parliament in April, 1955. Its name was subsequently changed in 1960 to the Barbados Fire Service. It had a complement of 26 fire officers (all ranks included). Colonel R J. Mitchelin O.B.E (Commissioner of Police) initially had responsibility for the administration of the Fire Brigade as Superintendent. But this came to an end on April 15, 1955.

On April 15, Major Albert George Bradford was appointed Superintendent, thus placing the Fire Service under his exclusive authority as Chief Fire Officer. The change in Administration coincided with the occupancy of the new Headquarters Station on Probyn Street. It also saw the handing over of correspondence, files, office equipment, stores equipment and general financial and administrative matters from the Royal Barbados Police Force.

Since 1955, the Barbados Fire Service has maintained unbroken service to the people of Barbados. We take this opportunity to pledge our continued commitment to serve and salute Barbados on achieving this significant milestone.

We join all Barbadians in celebrating the 43rd Anniversary of Independence.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Remembrance Day Parade & Ceremony

The annual Remembrance Day Parade and service was held this morning at the Cenotaph in National Heroes Square, Bridgetown. Barbados joined several other Commonwealth countries around the world in observing this significant occasion.

During the ceremony the Governor-General Sir Clifford Husbands and Prime Minister David Thompson laid wreaths in remembrance of the servicemen who lost their lives during World Wars One and Two. Members of the diplomatic corps and uniformed organisations also participated in the wreath laying ceremony, during the parade of armed and unarmed units.

Remembrance Day, a day for remembering men in the armed forces who died in the two World Wars, is observed in November. The observance follows a pattern set by Britain. The date of observance is the Sunday closest to the anniversary of the last day of World War I, which was November 11, 1918. On that date, the agreement to stop fighting (Armistice) was signed by the warring nations.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Airport Firefighters To Occupy New Station Soon

Fire Officers at the Airport Fire Station will soon be moving into their new ultra modern fire station at Seawell. The relocation of personnel and equipment is scheduled to take place this month. The state of the art station will provide increase floor space of 5 317 square feet.

Among the new features will be “direct access to the runway from the appliance bay; training facilities; the provision of separate decontamination and breathing apparatus rooms; and accommodation of all appliances under cover in an enclosed space with storm shuttering”.

Airport firefighters will also benefit from having improved direct access to the appliance bay from the dormitories, a library and records room, fire clothes area, mechanics service area, and parts room. Fire Officers will be able to enjoy better dining and kitchen facilities; a gym area and washroom facilities. An official announcement is to be made shortly regarding the date and time of the Opening Ceremony.

Monday, October 26, 2009

CAFF Elects New Executive Board

The Caribbean Association of Fire Fighters held its General Meeting and Election of Officers recently during its 5th Biennial Conference held in Dominica. The new Executive Board (2009 - 2011) is as follows: President Mr. Charles Ramsaroop (Trinidad & Tobago), 1st Vice President Mr. Egbert Samuels (Dominica), 2nd Vice President Mr. Shane Felix (St. Lucia), General Secretary Ms. Morella George (Trinidad & Tobago), Treasurer Mr. Ernle Fields (Barbados) and Assistant Secretary Treasurer Mr. Vachel Murrein (Montserrat).

During the General Meeting the following persons were also elected as Representatives: Ms. Melissa Bishop (Barbados), Mr. Sidney Allen (Montserrat), Mr. Compton Sparman (Guyana), Mr. Everrette Orgarro (St. Kitts/Nevis), Mr. Malcolm Christian (Dominica), Mr. Samuel Ilin (Martinique), Mr. Damian Jn Baptiste (St. Lucia), Mr. Elvis Reever (Antigua & Barbuda), and Mr. Ancel Lemissy (Trinidad &Tobago).

Mr. Nigel George (Trinidad & Tobago) and Ms. Dehola Jacobs (Guyana) have been designated Trustees of the Association.


Monday, October 12, 2009

5th Biennial CAFF Conference Starts Today In Dominica

The Caribbean Association of Fire Fighters (CAFF) will convene its 5th Biennial Conference from October 12 - 16, 2009 in Dominica. This year's conference theme is “Redefining the Caribbean Fire Service – A New Perspective.” The host organisation will be the Dominica Fire Fighters Association.

Organised by firefighters for firefighters the biennial conference has become the focal point for the Caribbean firefighter. CAFF 2009 will bring together regional fire service personnel and other industry professionals over a five day period.

Apart from the business meetings and workshop sessions, conference delegates can also look forward to several social and recreational activities during the conference including a scenic island tour, football match and a cultural evening.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

29 Injured As Bus And Van Collide

A collision involving a Transport Board bus and a van in Holetown caused minor injuries to 25 students and four adults as well as congestion along Highway 1 yesterday afternoon.

The bus, driven by Lawrence Baptiste on its way to Bridgetown from Speightstown, St Peter, braked sharply and completely dislocated its rear wheels and axle at the corner of Seaview Road and Highway 1 around 4 p.m. The students on board as well as driver Baptiste, van driver Haldor Hinds and two other adults were all treated on the scene by ambulance personnel, police reports stated.

The Holetown area was impassable for hours and alternative routes to Highway 2A became choked with vehicles. (RJ)

Friday, October 9, 2009

Fire Service Cruise 2K9 - 'Fire On The Sea'

The officers and members of the Barbados Fire Service Sports and Social Club will take to the sea on Friday, October 23, 2009 on board the M.V. Harbour Master from 10:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m.

The Chief Fire Officer has declared "Operation Stop Watch" all off duty personnel report for duty at the dock. Join the hott hott crew as we attempt to bring this fire under control. We on 'n' poppin, wuk up and do bad posse in full effect. Bring yuh fire hose! bring yuh water hose!

Soca music and other infectious beats will take over the vessel. Boarding commences at 9:30 p.m. sharp. Tickets are available at Fire Service Headquarters, Probyn Street, Bridgetown at $45.00 each, tickets bought at the dock are $50.00.

We lookin fuh we peeps: KFC Black Rock Posse, Haggatt Hall Massive, Ellerton Community and others.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

People 'Eager To Join Fire Service'

The Barbados Fire Service may be experiencing a manpower drain but it is flooded with applications from people eager to join the service.

Acting Chief Fire Officer Randolph Cox told the DAILY NATION that it was proving to be a challenge to respond to the many applications which they receive almost on a daily basis.

"We are bombarded . . . actually swamped. There is no shortage of people who want to join the service and our civilian staff are hardpressed to acknowledge all of the applications," he said.

Only last Friday, Cox lamented that the service had lost five senior officers in the last 15 months and this had led to a gap in experience in the department.

But he said both men and women were lining up to join the service and he expected that some would be hired when the new fire station at Six Roads, St Philip, was built.

However, it seems that temporary fire officers are peeved that four years after joining the service they are still acting.

The officers complained that they were told after their recruitment that they would be appointed but up to now they have heard nothing.

Cox confirmed that there were a number of officers in temporary positions but he said that appointments will be made in due course.

President of the Fire Officers Association, Clarence Hinds, said a number of the temporary officers had complained to the association about their status. He said this was a recent development for the Fire Service and he attributed it to changes in Public Service legislation.

However, he pointed out that the association had received word that Services Commission, which makes the appointments, was dealing with the matter.

Hinds also confirmed that there was a growing attraction to the Fire Service and he said this usually started with children as young as 12 years old.

He said he did not know if it was the tough economic times which was leading to the service being inundated with applicants. (MB)


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Fewer Calls To Fire Service

The Barbados Fire Service has recorded a 41 per cent reduction in calls to incidents as compared to last year.

Acting Chief Fire Officer Randolph Cox said last weekend that the department responded to 1 746 calls up to September 30 as compared to 2 964 for the same period last year.

Except for calls under the categories as other structural, and non-emergencies there were reductions in all the other categories. The largest reduction was in the area of grass fires which were reduced by 662. The total number for 2008 was 1 384, as compared to 722 for the same period this year.

"The department has maintained its usual good practices and dedication when responding to calls for assistance. However, there is always cause for concern when one life is lost and one home destroyed by fire," he noted.

Cox was speaking during the annual Chief Fire Officer's Parade and Awards ceremony at the Arch Hall Station, St. Thomas. (YB)

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Fire Service Urges Residents To “Stay Fire Smart! Don’t Get Burned.”

Once a child touches a hot stove, as the cliché goes—he learns his lesson, stay away from a hot stove. This cliché does not take into account the pain and suffering from burns and burns should not be part of the learning process.

That’s why the Barbados Fire Service continues to team up with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) for Fire Prevention Week (October 4 - 10, 2009) – to urge residents to “Stay Fire Smart! Don’t Get Burned.” This year’s campaign focuses on ways to keep homes fire safe and prevent painful burns. Additionally, fire safety educators will be teaching local residents how to plan and practice escape from a home in case a fire occurs.

Over the last nine years, Barbados saw a notable 23 people dying in house fires, with four of these deaths occurring in 2008 and one this year.

The most common types of burn injuries result from fire or flame burns, scalds and contact burns. Burns are painful and can result in serious scarring and even death. When we take extra caution in our homes to ensure that the curling iron is out of children’s reach or pot handles are turned away from the edge of the stove, such injuries are entirely preventable. Keeping our homes safe from fire and preventing devastating burn injuries is a healthy change we can make happen.

By following simple safety rules, you can “Stay Fire Smart! Don’t Get Burned.”

•Keep hot foods and liquids away from tables and counter edges so they cannot be pulled or knocked over.
•Have a 3-foot “kid-free” zone around the stove.
•Never hold a child in your arms while preparing hot food or drinking a hot beverage.
•Be careful when using things that get hot such as curling irons, oven, irons, lamps, heaters.
•Install tamper-resistant receptacles to prevent a child from sticking an object in the outlet.
•Never leave a child alone in a room with a lit candle, portable heater, lit fireplace or stove, or where a hot appliance might be in use.
•Wear short or close-fitting sleeves when cooking.
•Set your hot water temperature no higher than 120 degrees.
•Install anti-scald valves on shower heads and faucets.

Fire Prevention Week is actively supported by fire departments around the world. For 85 years, fire departments have observed Fire Prevention Week, making it the longest running public health and safety observance on record.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Manpower Drain Concern For Fire Chief

The "constant depletion" of human resources is of concern to the Barbados Fire Service.

Speaking at the Chief Fire Officer's Parade and Awards Ceremony at the Arch Hall Station, St Thomas, yesterday, Acting Chief Fire Officer Randolph Cox said the service had lost five senior officers in the last 15 months due to retirement.

"In addition to the senior officers and the failure to fill noted vacancies, the departure of these officers has left a gap in experience in the department and a deficit in the human resources," Cox said

The five who retired had 200 years of combined service between them.

He was referring to Chesterfield Mayers, Anthony Blackman, Eric Rice, Patrick Blackman and Wilfred Moseley who all received gifts in recognition of their service.

"The deficit of experience will have an impact on the overall organisation especially in the area of management, since the fire fighting experience that these officers have left with cannot be obtained overnight," he said.

Even though he expressed the department's concerns about the situation and the fact that the "shortage is having an adverse effect on the smooth operations of the department", Cox said the officers had risen to the task.

The acting chief also used the opportunity to encourage the officers to be disciplined and maintain high standards at all times.

"I want to remind you, that the discipline of the Barbados Fire Service must be maintained by personnel at all times whether off [or] on duty. The administration of the department will not condone any acts of indiscipline by any officer," he warned.

In addition to acknowledging the contributions of the five senior officers a number of officers and junior cadets also received prizes for various things.

Among them were cadets Kyle Hamblin and Dario Blackman who took the Instructor's Trophy and Most Improved respectively. (YB)


Monday, September 28, 2009

New Fire Station For Six Roads

Plans for the construction of a new fire station at Six Roads, St. Philip, are at an advanced stage.

Minister of Home Affairs and Attorney General, Freundel Stuart, who is also currently the Acting Prime Minister, said yesterday that plans for the fire station have been in gestation for quite some time, as it was necessary to respond to the commercial and residential expansion in the area. He added that by the end of this year, and as soon as November, a new state-of-the-art fire station at the Grantley Adams International Airport, will be completed, providing much relief to long-suffering officials working at that location.

In terms of conditions at other fire stations, Stuart said the one at St. James would either be refurbished or replaced, given its location and condition. Furthermore, he noted the station at St. John had not received any substantial work recently and this would have to be addressed. He was speaking yesterday at the Mount of Praise Wesleyan Holiness Church at Tudor Bridge, St. Michael, during a thanksgiving service to celebrate the 54th anniversary of the Barbados Fire Service (BFS) and the start of Fire Service Week 2009.

Stuart lauded the BFS for its significant contribution to the island, and thanked fire officers for taking their work seriously and for their efforts to respond to emergencies as quickly as possible. He also noted that the BFS was facing the retirement of several senior members, but stressed department was positioned to address the loss of staff through the extensive training that has been provided over the years.

Acting Chief Fire Officer, Randolph Cox, who was also on hand for the service, noted that an extension would soon be carried out at the Arch Hall fire station to expand its capacity. Cox also said the BFS would soon be launching Fire Prevention Week and that this would involve community programmes to help educate persons aiming at the prevention of fires in the home. He said efforts to see the installation of smoke detectors in homes, especially those of the disabled and the elderly, were going well, noting the role of the private sector in contributing.

Activities for Fire Service Week 2009 include an open day at all stations except the airport facility throughout the week, a memorial service on Monday, and the Fire Chief’s Parade at the Arch Hall Fire Station, St. Thomas on Friday.


BFS Making Public Aware

The Barbados Fire Service marked its 54th anniversary yesterday aiming to forge greater links with communities.

Acting Chief Fire Officer Randolph Cox said it was important that fire officers continued to make the public aware of fire prevention techniques.

"We are going all out in the communities to ensure that people are sensitised and do the right things to prevent fires in the home, especially going into the busy Christmas season.

"We want people to be safe, and the only way is to make them knowledgeable through our public education programmes," Cox said.

The BFS celebrates its anniversary with a week under the theme Building And Maintaining Relationships Within Our Community.

Cox was speaking after the thanksgiving service held at the Mount of Praise Wesleyan Holiness Church where officers of the BFS were joined by the Barbados Prison Service Band and the Royal Barbados Police Force.

Acting Prime Minister Freundel Stuart said that the new state-of-the-art station at the Grantley Adams International Airport would soon be opened.

"We have to look at the fire station in St James to either refurbish or replace it, but having regard to its location, we will ultimately have to think about replacing it.

"The fire station at St John has not had any work done on it of a substantial nature recently and we'll also look at that. Six Roads is in the serious planning stage, although it has been in gestation for a very long time. But we are now at the point where we are about to make a very serious take-off," Stuart added. (PCA)


Sunday, September 27, 2009

Barbados Fire Service Marks 54 Years

The Barbados Fire Service marks 54 years of ardent assistance to the nation with renewed commitment to “build and maintain relationships within our community”.

Vows from the men and women of the fire service will be made during a 9:45 a.m. thanksgiving service today Sunday, September 27, at the Mount of Praise Wesleyan Holiness Church on Tudor Bridge in St. Michael.

Acting Prime Minister, Attorney General and Minister of Home Affairs the Honourable Freundel Stuart will address the congregation and take the salute at the parade following the church service.

At 10 a.m. on Monday, a memorial service at Probyn Street Headquarters, Bridgetown will honour fallen firefighters.

During the week, celebrations will centre on fire-readiness, fire-fighting, fire prevention and community relations proficiency in the interaction between the public and the Barbados Fire Service.

Activities will peak with Fire Officers’ Professional Day, a team-building programme, at Higher Heights in St. Joseph on Wednesday and the Chief Fire Officer’s Parade and Awards Ceremony at 3 p.m. on Friday, October 2, at the Arch Hall Fire Station, Arch Hall, St.Thomas.

The annual family-fire-fair brings down the curtain on the activities from 11 a.m. on Saturday, October 3, at headquarters. Attractions include special video presentations, tours of fire trucks, jumping tent, face painting and lucky dip.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Randolph Cox Is The New Acting Fire Chief

Randolph Cox has been named the new acting Chief Fire Officer of the Barbados Fire Service (BFS). Cox took over from last Tuesday and is now in charge of a staff of nearly 244 uniformed officers and approximately 24 civilian support personnel.

A member of the fire department since 1973, Cox had been serving as Divisional Officer for the last few years. He succeeds Anthony Blackman, who was acting fire chief before retiring on August 28, 2009 and Eric Rice, who became interim chief immediately after.

The Barbados Fire Service operates from six stations and protects a population of 265,000. Its annual call volume is just over 2,000 fire calls.

Inter-Watch Cricket Starts Tomorrow Night

Members of the public are asked to note that Inter-Watch Cricket commences tomorrow night at the Passage Road Grounds, St. Michael at 7:00 p.m.

Please make a special effort to attend, your kind support is solicited. The Inter-Watch Cricket Finals are scheduled to be held on October 1, 2009 during Fire Service Week at the same venue.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Red Carpet Treatment

While it only took him 13.14 seconds to win the hearts of Barbadians home and abroad, it will take hours today for Barbados to pay tribute to gold medal hurdler Ryan Brathwaite.

Brathwaite returns home this afternoon and will be met by spectacular celebrations the minute he arrives at the Grantley Adam International Airport en route to Kensington Oval via motorcade for an official Government ceremony.

After his expected arrival time at 1:45 p.m., Brathwaite will be ushered into a reception in the VIP Lounge.

An hour later his motorcade rolls off at 2:45 p.m. from the airport to Oistins and along the South Coast, into Bridgetown and onto Kensington Oval for the big ceremony that starts at 4:45 p.m.

The 21-year-old Brathwaite will be showered with gifts from the Government and corporate Barbados. There will also be presentations from Brathwaite's two schools, Lawrence T. Gay and Lester Vaughan.

Prime Minister David Thompson will deliver the feature address, while there will be messages from Senator Sandiford-Garner and Brathwaite's former principals.

Other messages will be from the 13:14 Gold Committee from Hillaby, the Barbados Olympic Association, the Amateur Athletics Association, and the National Sports Council.

Up to yesterday evening, special events co-ordinator in the Prime Minister's Office, Cranston Browne, was conducting a final "walk-through" with security officials while the stage, lighting and the protective cover for the Kensington playing field had all been installed completely.

Weather permitting, hundreds are expected to line the South Coast at key points such as Oistins, Rendezvous, Hastings, the Garrison, Bay Street, Bridgetown, Princess Alice Highway and Fontabelle.

The weather forecast for today is: partly cloudy to occasionally cloudy with scattered showers.

Celebrations are also expected to go long into the night in Brathwaite's hometown Hillaby, St Andrew, where a big screen will replay his 110-metre hurdle victory in Berlin, Germany, last month and a mural will also be unveiled on a wall at the corner of Church Gap, where Brathwaite lives.

On Sunday, an interdenominational thanksgiving service will be held in his honour at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre from 3 p.m. and buses will leave Turners Hall, Hillaby, Farmers and Whitehall promptly at 1:45 p.m. to transport people who don't have vehicles, and wish to attend the service.


Friday, September 11, 2009

Three Dead As St Jude’s Goes Up In Smoke

Three people are dead following an early morning blaze that left the entire Surgical Ward of the St Jude’s Hospital in St Lucia ablaze. Residents of the Vieux Fort and Laborie area reported hearing loud explosions between 12:30 and 1am, that shook their houses. Reports are that several residents were on the scene helping to remove patients from the burning building which also houses the Pediatric Ward. Two men died in the St Jude’s Hospital while another died en route to the Victoria Hospital in Castries. Seriously injured patients were transferred to the Victoria Hospital in Castries and other hospitals around St Lucia while others were housed at the nearby Vieux Fort Comprehensive School.

The Prime Minister of St Lucia, who was at the Vieux Fort school held an emergency meeting with the fire service, the police and medical professionals before holding a press conference where he called on St Lucians to do all in their power to help those affected and to bear with the medical fraternity whose resources will be strained in this difficult time. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Tragic Accident In Wanstead St. James

The deaths of two Barbadians brought this year's number of fatalities to 15 from 14 accidents.

Police said twenty-three year old Damon Yearwood of Parris Hill, St. Joseph and twenty-one year old David Headley of Rock Hall, St. Andrew died after the ATVs, or all terrain vehicles in which they were travelling, were involved in a collision with a transport board bus around quarter to nine along Wanstead main road, St. James.

The transport board bus was driven by forty-seven year old Wilbert Blackman of Branchberry, St. Joseph.

Police noted, while Headley died on the spot, Yearwood sustained numerous injuries to the body and was rushed to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital where he later died.

A third ATV driven by 32 year old Neville Seale, of Advent Avenue, Bank Hall St. Michael was also involved in the accident.

Seale was taken to the QEH complaining of injuries to his shoulder and upper body.

According to police, the transport board bus was going towards Oxnards, while the ATVs were travelling in the opposite direction.

Photos: Nicholas McGeary.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Barbados Fire Service Celebrates Its 54th Anniversary

The Barbados Fire Service (BFS) will commence celebrations for its annual Week of Activities with a Thanksgiving Service at the Mount of Praise Wesleyan Holiness Church, Tudor Bridge, St. Michael on Sunday, September 27, 2009.

The Department will be celebrating its 54th Anniversary this year. During the week, the Fire Service has planned a number of events and is throwing open its doors to public visits at its Probyn Street headquarters, the Worthing, Arch Hall, St. James and St. John fire stations.

The week climaxes with a Family-Fire-Fair on Saturday, October 3 from 11:00 a.m. at Fire Service Headquarters, Probyn Street, Bridgetown. This event will feature special fire-fighting video presentations, tours of the fire station, jumping tent, lucky dip, face painting and the new rescue tender.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Fire Service Employee Idalia Yarde Laid To Rest

Several members of the Barbados Fire Service gathered with family and friends on Monday to celebrate the life of Chrisita Idalia Yarde a civilian employee of the fire department.

The Service of Thanksgiving was held at the Abundant Life Assembly, Bank Hall, St. Michael where Yarde was a steward of the church. Idalia died at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital on August 13 after being hospitalized with cancer.

Ms. Yarde was employed with the department for many years serving at all of the fire stations before being appointed to staff (full time) in 2004. She was last assigned to the Worthing Fire Station in Christ Church.

The members and staff of the Barbados Fire Service take this opportunity to extend our heartfelt thanks to the family for the outstanding service rendered by Chrisita Idalia Yarde.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Acting Fire Chief Anthony Blackman Retires

Acting Chief Fire Officer Anthony Blackman has retired after 41 years in the Barbados Fire Service. Blackman began his career with the Fire Service in 1968, and spent his last day on the job on Friday, August 28, 2009.

He became the acting Chief Fire Officer in 2008 after former Fire Chief Chesterfield Mayers retired from service. Blackman met with several members of staff on Thursday and conveyed his parting greetings and best wishes for the service.

Eric Rice will be acting as Chief Fire Officer with Randolph Cox acting as Deputy Chief Fire Officer.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

BICO Up In Flames

The headquarters of ice-cream maker BICO went up in flames tonight, causing at least one million dollars in damage.

The north-western section of the complex was extensively damaged by the inferno that started around 7:50 p.m. and lasted more than two hours.

Chief executive officer Edwin Thirlwell, who rushed from home to the complex, said as far as he knew it was the first fire to hit the company since its opening on Bay Street in 1901.

According to engineering co-ordinator at the plant, Michael Korber, the fire started in the boiler section of the engineering area and extended to the storeroom.

At least nine fire tenders from Bridgetown and other areas battled the blaze, finding the billowing smoke and the absence of hydrants on the property among the challenges.

In a statement issued tonight by BICO's public relations company Redd Advertising, employees of the company have been asked to gather in the car park of Cricket Legends of Barbados at Herbert House, Fontabelle, at 8 a.m. tomorrow for an update on the company's next steps. (TY/PR)


Saturday, August 15, 2009

Fire Service Employee Idalia Yarde Has Died

On Friday, members of the Barbados Fire Service learned of the death of Chrisita Idalia Yarde a civilian employee of the department.

Ms. Yarde was employed as a maid and worked with the department for many years serving at all of the fire stations before being appointed to staff (full time) in 2004. She was last assigned to the Worthing Fire Station in Christ Church.

The sincerity with which Idalia approached everyone will certainly be missed by all those who had the pleasure of working with her.

An official notice of the funeral service for Chrisita Idalia Yarde will be published shortly. May she rest in peace.

Second Tropical Storm Forms; Ana Keeps On Path To Northern Caribbean

A second tropical storm, Bill, has formed in the Atlantic, right on the heels of Tropical Storm Ana which is continuing on its path to hit the north-east Caribbean - including Anguilla, Antigua and Tortola - by Monday morning.

Tropical Storm Bill strengthened from a depression earlier today, and by 5 pm was located about 820 miles west-southwest of the Cape Verde Islands, moving toward the west near 16 miles per hour, with maximum sustained winds near 40 miles per hour. It is expected to strengthen during the course of the next day.

But the more immediate threat to the Caribbean, Ana - the first storm of the Atlantic hurricane season - continues to move towards the north-east Caribbean - including Anguilla, Antigua and Tortola, still on track to hit in less than two days.

Acting Director of Antigua and Barbuda's Met Office Keithley Meade said officials are keeping a close watch on that storm.

Ana is still some way out from the islands and the Met Office will continue to monitor it, in case a tropical storm watch is required as the storm moves westward," he said.

"When it does reach the islands, according to the present forecast, it will still be a tropical storm...and, as such, all interests in the Leewards should monitor the progress of Tropical Storm Ana," Meade added.

The government of the Netherland Antilles has already issued a tropical storm watch for St Maarten, Saba and St Eustatius. Residents of these islands can expect tropical storm conditions within another day and a half.

At 5 pm, the centre of Tropical Storm Ana was about 805 miles east-southeast of the Leeward Islands. It was moving toward the west at near 17 miles per hour.


Northern Caribbean On Alert As Tropical Storm Ana Forms

The first tropical storm of the 2009 Atlantic Hurricane Season has formed and could impact on several islands in the north-east Caribbean by early next week.

The National Hurricane Centre says a tropical storm watch may be required for parts of the Leeward Islands on Saturday.

On its current course, TS Ana is forecast to pass uncomfortably close to or make landfall on Anguilla, Tortola and Grand Turk in the Turks and Caicos Islands early next week.

On the current path - based on the 5am EST 15 August 2009 forecast - the centre of Tropical Storm Ana is expected to pass 33 miles east of Antigua and six miles east of Anguilla on Monday morning. On Monday night the track takes it 10 miles east of Tortola in the British Virgin Islands and within 24 hours, 6 miles east of Grand Turk in the Turks and Caicos Islands.

These projections are subject to change with subsequent forecasts. The margin of error for a two-day forecast is 164 miles while for for 24 hours it is 89 miles.

At 5am EST, the centre of Tropical Storm Ana was estimated to be near 14.6 north and 46.8 west oo 1010 miles east of the Lesser Antilles.

It is travelling at 16mph towards the west and has a minimum central pressure of 1005MB. with maximum sustained winds of 40mph with higher gusts. Minimum central pressure of 1005MB.

Tropical storm force winds extend outward from the centre up to 70 miles.

The NHC says the environment is more conducive to strengthening and slow intensification is expected during the next 48 hours.

TS Ana was upgraded from Tropical Depression 2 which re-generated on Friday - one day after it was downgraded to an open tropical wave.


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Tropical Depression Forms - Expected To Strengthen

A tropical depression has formed in the eastern Atlantic Ocean and poses no threat to the Caribbean at this time. The National Hurricane Centre (NHC) says it should strenghten in another 24 hours to become tropical storm as it continues westward for about two to three days when it should gradually turn towards the northwest as it navigates its way around the periphery of a high pressure system.

Beyond this, forecasters are uncertain.

Hurricane specialist Dr Richard Pasch says that the cyclone is currently situated over marginally warm ocean waters with weak upper level winds (warm water and weak shear are good ingredients for strengthening).

"The official forecast shows gradual strenghening over the next couple of days and is a blend of the various numerical guidance tools. As usual there is considerable uncertainty as to the strength of this system later in the forecast period.

If the cyclone moves farther north than anticipated (in the current forecast) it will probably encounter stronger shear and not intensify as much as forecast. On the other hand if the system moves farther south than expected late in the (forecast) will probably become stronger than anticipated...," says Pasch.

The current forecast track is for this system to curve northwest before reaching the Caribbean islands by weekend. However, that forecast is subject to change.

At 6am Eastern Standard Time, the centre of Tropical Depression Two was estimated to be near 14.4 north and 28.6 west with maximum sustained winds of 30mph, travelling towards the west at 13mph. The minimum central pressure is 1006MB.


Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Hero Breaks Open Door; Saves Old Woman From Fire

Kadooment Hero!
That's what residents are calling a young man who yesterday, Kadooment Day, lifted a 94-year-old woman from a burning house and took her to safety.

Shawn Howell broke down a door and brought Enid Sandiford to safety after a room in her Seclusion Road, Black Rock, St Michael home caught on fire.

He then returned to fight the blaze with the help of others who were on their way to watch the bands parade.

"I broke off the door and already the place was filled with smoke . . . . I made sure I got the old lady out from the front-house, but in the bedroom the bed was on fire and the fan was burning, causing me to get trapped a bit, but no one was hurt," Howell said, adding that his companion Antoinette Smith also helped.

Howell was treated for smoke inhalation by paramedics, while Sandiford was in the care of nearby relatives.

Though Sandiford was not able to speak at length, her daughter, Benita Eastmond, in tears, said she was grateful to Howell and all the others who assisted.

"My mum lived there from a baby and I am thankful to everyone who assisted because this could have been so much worse. It touched my heart to see all the people pulling things from the house and I'm grateful to God and Shawn that my mother was not hurt," Eastmond said.

Six fire officers under the command of Station Officer Trevor Applewhaite responded to the blaze at 1:20 p.m. but by then the fire had already been brought under control by residents and passers-by.

One of them said he had just put down his cooler to watch the bands when he smelt the smoke.

"It was not even ten minutes that I walked by the house and as soon as I found my spot and put down my cooler I smelled this smoke, so I ran back up the gap and that is when we realised what was happening and helped out," Kevin Rawlins said.

There was no major damage to the house except to the room was destroyed. Howell said it was due to the quick response from people who were walking through the gap that made all the difference.

"Everyone lives good in this area . . . . It was good to see that no one hesitated," he said.

That aside, 94-year-old Sandiford was still able to enjoy a plate of fish-cakes and watch the bands on parade - a pastime she enjoyed yearly. (PA)

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Install Protection System, Says Fire Officer

A SENIOR FIRE OFFICER wants businesses and home-owners to install water sprinklers and fire detectors.

Divisional Officer of the Barbados Fire Service Randolph Cox said the sprinklers would help bring a fire under control until a tender arrived.

He said fire detectors would also assist people in identifying the location of fires, which would assist officers in their response time.

"We are advocating active fire protection systems for business houses and homes," he stated.

He said it was a costly undertaking, and some people opted for hand appliances like fire extinguishers and buckets of water or sand.

Firemen were in the field last Saturday with workers from the Ministry of Transport and Works placing blue markers to identify fire hydrants in Nelson Street and its environs. It was the continuation of a programme which will see makers being placed ten feet away from hydrants throughout The City.

Cox told the media it took about ten minutes for a wooden structure to be destroyed or severely damaged by fire.

"We are aiming to reduce the number of fires, especially structural fires we're receiving nowadays.

The efforts of the fire prevention and the community relation departments has assisted in achieving a reduction in fires so far for the year," Cox said, adding that the easy detection of hydrants would assist in the Fire Service's efficiency and effectiveness.

He made an appeal to members of the public to desist from parking on or in close proximity to hydrants, because it could impact on their ability to connect to the water supply.

The hydrant-marking programme is being done with the assistance of United Insurance, which donated the markers.

Executive director David Alleyne said the company felt the security of property in Bridgetown was important, and wanted to assist the agencies in minimising the damage to property.

"It's not just the financial loss that is a problem, but it can alleviate suffering and the trauma which attends emergencies and fire loss throughout the country," Alleyne said.

The Fire Service is involved in a programme with another insurance company to provide fire detectors to home-owners. (YB)


Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day

A Dad is a personwho is loving and kind,
And often he knows what you have on your mind.
He's someone who listens,suggests, and defends.
A dad can be one of your very best friends! He's proud of your triumphs,but when things go wrong,
A dad can be patient and helpful and strong In all that you do, a dad's love plays a part.

There's always a place for him deep in your heart.
And each year that passes, you're even more glad, More grateful and proud just to call him your dad!
Thank you, Dad...for listening and caring, for giving and sharing, but, especially, for just being you!

Happy Father's Day

Thursday, June 4, 2009

50 Percent Reduction In Fires This Year

There has been a 50 per cent reduction in all types of fires from 2008 to 2009 for the period ending on June 3. This information was revealed by Sub Officer, Henderson Patrick of the Barbados Fire Service (BFS) yesterday in an interview with the Barbados Advocate.

He stated that at this time last year there were 1211 fires overall, whereas there were about 1102 for the same period this year.

In terms of structural fires – private dwelling houses, they have had about four or five fires in the last couple of days in areas such as Mason Hall Street and Shorey Village and it appears as though “we are having a spike in structural fires. However, in the overall context of fires, we are actually down”.

Last year for this same period there were 55 structural fires and for this year they have responded to 41. As for sugar cane fires, there has been 67 fewer fires now than they had last year, “which is a significant reduction in that particular category,” said Patrick. Last year, there were 173 fires and this year there were 106 fires for the same time period.

Meanwhile, there has also been a 50 per cent reduction in grass fires. There were 1293 of these fires last year and they have had around 544 so far. He said that most of the grass fires are caused by the careless actions of people such as when people are burning in their backyard with no measure of control in place, such as a garden hose in case things get out of control and therefore when the wind blows, it takes the fire and deposits it in another area and then they cannot get that under control, said Patrick.

He attributes the decrease in fires to the work of the Fire Prevention Unit (FPU), who has conducted various fire prevention programmes, as well as the general public who are becoming more fire safety conscious as they are listening to what others have to say about keeping their properties safe as well as paying more attention to investing in their properties.

However, he stated that the “BFS does not want to rest on our laurels and say that we are gaining ground only to have it eroded by people becoming careless and people not following the simple instructions and principles that we have issued to them”.
Accordingly, Patrick advises persons to unplug all electrical items before they leave the house especially things like irons and to ensure that they have turned off the stove.

He adds that the kitchen is the “highest risk area in the house. It constantly has open flame. Sometimes people – because they can’t do better – store their liquid petroleum gas (LPG) bottle in the house. It has a variety of electrical items that people use inside of it”.

He advised persons to be careful when using these items by not having too many of them plugged in at the same time, especially if they in the same plug or circuit.


Monday, June 1, 2009

Fire Service: Public More Harmful Than Helpful

The Barbados Fire Service values the public's assistance in fighting fires but that help must come under the guidance of its officers.

Divisional Officer Randolph Cox said civilians were not allowed to take up and use any of the service's equipment.

"I can understand people's enthusiasm and that they want to assist but they have to do so under the guidance of the fire service," he said.

Cox was speaking to the Press last Friday at the scene of a fire in Mason Hall Street, The City, where one house was extensively damaged and three others slightly affected.


Fire officials reported they were hindered in doing their jobs by residents who were trying to help, although they also thanked the residents for removing some of the items from the houses.

Winston Callender and Charles Jackman were among the first people on the scene. They live nearby and made sure the gas bottles in the most severely damaged house was removed, as well as some items from the other houses, as they said they liked helping people.

They added that other people who came later tried to use a fire service hose which did not have a nozzle, but they could not control it.

Jackman is the uncle of Debrico Douglas, the ten-year-old boy who lost his life in April in a fire in New Orleans. (CA)


All Gone Up In Smoke

Jason Howard lost almost everything he owned in a few minutes yesterday.

The 28-year-old resident of Garden Land, Bank Hall, St Michael, said everything seemed fine when he left his rented home to buy some medicine for a cold but upon his return the house was engulfed in flames.

"I was sleeping then I got up to buy some multi-symptom because I wasn't feeling well, but by the time I came back I saw saw white smoke coming from my room at the back of the house," he said.

Howard said his brother-in-law whom he had left at home came through the door yelling for someone to call the fire department and the only thing they saved was a single bed before the three-bedroom, one-bathroom wall and timber house was destroyed.

Howard rented the house from Velsey Moore and lived with his sister Nefferti Howard, 30, and her three children: Davione Sealy, 12; Dominic Ash, nine, and Tyrese Layne, four, all of whom were at church when the fire started.

He said he did not know what they would do now as they had no place to go.

Parliamentary representative for St Michael West Michael Carrington, was on the scene and pledged to lend assistance to the family.

The fire also destroyed most of the equipment being stored in a small wrought iron
and fencing business located next door and owned by Christopher Montoute.

The heat of the fire was so intense it damaged another house across the road which was under repair for rental.

Three tenders, two from Probyn Street headquarters and one from Worthing station, and 11 fire officers, under the command of acting Deputy Chief Fire Officer, Eric Rice, responded to the 11:21 a.m. call. Investigations are continuing. (CA)


Friday, May 29, 2009

Season's First Tropical Depression Forms

The first tropical depression of the north Atlantic's hurricane season formed Thursday and forecasters said it would likely reach tropical storm strength before petering out over open seas.

"The depression is forecast to become a tropical storm over the next day or so, but then is expected to weaken or dissipate over colder waters by Saturday," the National Hurricane Center said.

At 1500 GMT the depression was located about 500 km (311 miles) south of Providence, Rhode Island or 1,020 kilometers (634 miles) southwest of Halifax, Nova Scotia.

The depression formed even before the official June 1 start of the Atlantic hurricane season, which stretches though November 30.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Mild Earthquake Recorded In Barbados

USGS, USA: Seismometers of the US Geological Survey recorded an earthquake of magnitude 4.7 on the Richter Scale at a depth of 12 miles approximately 55 miles ENE of Bridgetown, the capital of Barbados, early Sunday morning (01:13 A.M. Local - 05:13 UTC).

Friday, May 15, 2009

International AIDS Candlelight Memorial 2009

Sunday 17 May marks the 26th anniversary of the International AIDS Candlelight Memorial.

The International AIDS Candlelight Memorial is among the world’s oldest movements for HIV/AIDS remembrance, awareness and community action.

The first International AIDS Candlelight Memorial was held in 1983, when the cause of AIDS was unknown and no more than a few thousand AIDS deaths had been recorded. The organisers wished to honour the memory of those lost to AIDS and to demonstrate support for those living with AIDS. That remains the focus of the event today.

The Candlelight Memorial is more than just a memorial. It is an opportunity to educate about AIDS, advocate for policy change, foster partnerships and community dialogue, and improve skills for community mobilization. With 33 million people estimated to be infected worldwide, the Memorial serves as an important uniting intervention among civil society and their governments, breaking down social barriers, and giving hope to future generations.

The AIDS Society of Barbados Inc. has been involved in coordinating the local event for a number of years, the Barbados Fire Service HIV/AIDS Committee is proud to be participating and supporting this very important community event.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Flu Scare At The Bridgetown Port

Health officials have given the all clear at the Bridgetown port after a scare Wednesday morning involving a crew member from the cruise ship, Carnival Victory. A female crew member was quarantined after discovering that she was exhibiting signs of influenza.

Lisa Brome says the ship has already left on its journey around the Caribbean with the affected crew member on board.

For a few hours the Bridgetown Port was on high alert as reports emerged that as many as three people who sailed in on the Carnival Victory were suspected to carrying the deadly H1N1 virus.

But health authorities quickly mobilized, boarding the ship and carrying out the necessary assessments of the passengers.

Health Minister, Donville Inniss, during a media briefing confirmed that it was only one crew member who was quarantined onboard the vessel.

In a brief timeline of how the events occurred, Minister Inniss said local health authorities were alerted late yesterday that the vessel left Dominica with one person who had flu symptoms and TAMIFLU had started to be administered.

He says from then the established protocols were implemented and just after six Wednesday morning port health authorities, led by Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Joy St. John boarded the vessel to carry out the assessment.

And once that assessment was completed, just before 10, passengers and crew started flowing out of the port to enjoy their holiday to the island. They told CBC News they did not have much of an idea of what was happening.

Port authority workers, on hearing the news left their posts to gather in their lunch room where members of the management team came out to reassure them of their safety.

International Business Minister, George Hutson was on hand to lend further government support to the health authorities' efforts to prevent spread of the virus.

Minister Inniss said some Barbadians were among those who came off the ship, but they and others have been given health alert cards for their follow up care.


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Funeral Service Tomorrow For Former Fire Chief

The Caribbean Fire Service fraternity will gather tomorrow on the island of Dominica in a Service of Thanksgiving for the life of Julien Baptiste former Chief Fire Officer of the Dominica Fire and Ambulance Service.

The Dominican Fire Service family was in a state of mourning after being informed of Baptiste’s death on April 18, 2009. Baptiste reportedly died in Cuba where he was receiving medical treatment for an ailing kidney condition.

We take this opportunity to extend our sincere condolences and prayers to the family of Fire Chief Baptiste and the entire Dominica Fire and Ambulance Service.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

International Firefighters Day - May 4, 2009

Take a moment to stop and thank a firefighter, their family or their colleagues in the fire organisation today. If you're a firefighter take time to thank a fellow firey, one or more of your mentors (perhaps they have retired or moved on from your fire organisation) or even a firey from a different organisation, service or country.

Today with modern communication we can touch the lives of people on the other side of the world so why don't you send a greeting card or forward this message and thank them for their dedication?

Firefighters the world over may wear different uniforms and utilise different equipment however we all have some common traits - we put our lives on the line in the protection of life and property and to protect our communities. Being a firey means that you are part of a very close brotherhood - and an amazing family.

To all firefighters the world-over - THANKYOU! Please take care of yourself and your crew in your battle against fire and in the protection of others.

JJ Edmondson

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Fire Service Sports Club Receives Donation

The Barbados Fire Service Sports and Social Club received a donation of a color television from PriceSmart Barbados on Tuesday. In accepting the donation Club Secretary Ryan Mayers stated that the gift was quite timely and expressed the desire to see more corporate entities supporting the Fire Service Sports Club.

Maurice Forde, Membership Marketing Manager made the donation on behalf of PriceSmart. Mr. Forde said his company was pleased to present the donation to the Fire Service Sports and Social Club. The presentation was witnessed by several members of the Club.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Fire Service Participates In FAHUM 2009 Exercise

The annual regional disaster relief exercise known as ‘Fuersas Aliadas Humanitarias’ (FAHUM) was held on Friday across the 16 Caribbean Disaster Emergency Response Agency (CDERA) member states.

More than 10 agencies were in attendance at the National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) located at the offices of the Department of Emergency Management (DEM) in Warrens, St. Michael.

This year’s exercise allowed the participants to test the response mechanism for pandemic influenza. A four member team from the Barbados Fire Service was in attendance for the exercise and coordinated the department’s response. Of significance this year was the use of the WebEOC incident management application during the exercise.

The WebEOC hardware and software is currently being installed at the Department of Emergency Management and members of the emergency services are expected to start training with the software soon.

WebEOC will be available for use during the 2009 hurricane season where it will be further tested and it is expected that the system will be fully operational in all CDERA States by the end of 2010.

A total of 25 countries are participating in FAHUM this year, the exercise concludes on April 25.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Fire Service Mourns The Loss Of Duncan Walcott

Members of the Barbados Fire Service joined family and friends in a Service of Thanksgiving for the life of Duncan Chesterfield Walcott BSM (retired Station Officer) at the St. John Parish Church on Tuesday.

It was with great sadness that the firefighting fraternity learned of the death of Mr. Walcott. Duncan Walcott served in the Fire Service for 34 years and retired on October 1, 1999 at the age of 57.

He enlisted in the Barbados Fire Service on October 1, 1965. During his extensive career in the Service he was assigned to several areas including the St. John Fire Station, Airport Fire Station and Fire Service Headquarters. He also had the distinction of completing several overseas training stints at Base Borden in Canada and the Caribbean Aviation Training Institute in Trinidad. For his hard work and dedication he was awarded the Barbados Service Medal of Honour in 1983.

The members and staff of the Barbados Fire Service take this opportunity to extend our heartfelt thanks to the family for the outstanding service rendered by Duncan Chesterfield Walcott.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

One Fatality After Major Fire At New Orleans

Fifteen people are homeless following a major fire which destroyed four houses and damaged two others at 8th Avenue New Orleans, St. Michael early this morning.

A 10 year-old-boy is also a fatality as a result of the fire. His body was discovered in the debris after firefighters had extinguished the fire.

The fire which started in the early hours of the morning quickly spread through the densely populated district.

Approximately 16 officers with 5 fire tenders under the command of Deputy Chief Fire Officer Eric Rice with Station Officers Wilfred Marshall and Trevor Applewhaite responded to the blaze.

Investigations into the cause of the fire are continuing.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Personality Of The Month - April 2009

Name: Roger D. Bourne

Nickname: " Bourne Boy "

Sex: Male

Birthday: April 21

Height: 5'11

Residence: St. George

Love Status: Married

Occupation: Fire Officer

Hobbies: Swimming, Volley Ball, Cycling.

Words That Best Describe Me: People Person.

Interests: Technology, Astrology, Traveling, Shopping, Mobile Phones, Internet, Computers, Religion, Television, Motors, Organisations.

Types Of Music That I Like: Classic, Pop, R&B, Gospel, Reggae, Oldie Goldie.

Types Of Movies That I Like: Animated, Cartoons, Comedy, Science Fiction, Thriller, Action

People Don't Know That: I am a good cook.

My Favourite Quote: "I Can Do All Things Through Christ Who Strengthens Me."

My Favourite Website:

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Fire Erupts At Asphalt Plant

Firefighters from Fire Service Headquarters and the Arch Hall Fire Station rushed to the C.O.Williams Asphalt Plant at Lears Road, St Michael yesterday after fire broke out there.

Approximately 15 firefighters with three fire tenders under the command of acting Deputy Chief Fire Officer Eric Rice and Station Officer Evans Morris used foam to contain the fire that engulfed three 40 foot containers of bitumen.

The fire erupted when diesel which was being delivered in a truck, overflowed and came into contact with a heater which was on the ground.

Fire then quickly spread to the storage containers igniting the asphalt. Thick black smoke could be seen from several miles away as employees and other onlookers hurried to safety. Two water tankers from C.O.Williams Construction assisted firefighters with the delivery of water to the incident scene.

Two persons received minor injuries as a result of yesterday's fire.

Fire Guts Home In Chapman Lane

One house was destroyed and two others damaged when a fire broke out today in Chapman Lane, the City.

Alexis Douglas was left distraught over the loss of her rented home and all her possessions when the fire gutted the insured wall and timber house and adjoining bar, called Lexy’s Bar.

“My little nephew called me and when I ran over I see my home burning so I took up the hose and tried to help,” she said.

Member of Parliament for the City, Patrick Todd, was present and made calls to the relevant authorities to get help for Douglas.

Three tenders and 15 officers from Probyn Street headquarters answered the 11:24 a.m call, under the command of Deputy Fire Chief Eric Rice. (CA)


Two Injured In Accident

Two men sustained injuries yesterday during a collision between a truck and a tractor travelling along Highway 2A.

The collision occurred near to the Sandy Lane junction in St. James and involved a truck, owned by Elvis King and driven by Ernest Rogers of St. George; and a tractor owned by C.O. Williams and driven by Augusten Alexander of Tichbourne, St. Michael.

The tractor was heading in a northerly direction and the truck travelling in the opposite direction towards Redman’s Village, St. James, when the collision occurred.

Rogers complained of pains to both knees and sustained an abrasion to the left leg, while Alexander sustained abrasions to both hands and complained of pains to his right shoulder. Both drivers were transported from the scene to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, and both vehicles were extensively damaged. (NC)

Source: The Barbados Advocate

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Early Morning City Fire Ravages Two Homes

Residents of Spruce Street, The City, awoke to find two homes in their neighbourhood engulfed in flames early yesterday morning. The fire completely destroyed an unoccupied house and extensively damaged another before fire officers could contain the blaze.

Ten officers with two fire tenders from Fire Service Headquarters under the command of Divisional Officer Lloydson Phillips and Station Officer Evans Morris attended the incident.

Two persons were reported to be displaced as a result of yesterday’s blaze.

Investigations into the cause of the fire are continuing.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Firefighters Complete Marine Firefighting Training

Twenty-four firefighters from the Barbados Fire Service and two members of the Barbados Coast Guard created history on Friday when they successfully completed the first Marine Firefighting for Land-based Firefighters training course.

The one week training programme sought to expose the participants to firefighting techniques and concepts which would enable them to effectively mitigate incidents in a marine environment. The course was conducted by the Barbados Fire Service in collaboration with Hillsborough Community College and the Barbados Community College.

Course instructor Keith Williams commended the participants for the dedication and commitment shown during the training programme. He also urged them to utilise the knowledge and skills obtained from the course and encouraged them to pursue additional training in this area with a view to strenghening the fire departments capacity to respond to marine incidents.

The closing ceremony was held at the Barbados Community College Industry Services Unit on the Harbour Road, and was attended by Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs Ms. Dianne Campbell, acting Deputy Principal of the Barbados Community College Dr. Sylvia Hackett, Lieutenant Commander Shurland of the Barbados Coast Guard, acting Chief Fire Officer Eric Rice and other Fire Service officials.

Personality Of The Month - March 2009

Name: Carlos McN. Bishop

Nickname: N/A

Sex: Male

Birthday: March 28

Height: 5'8

Residence: St. Philip

Love Status: Married

Occupation: Fire Officer

Hobbies: Fitness Training.

Words That Best Describe Me: Loving, Loyal, Serious.

Interests: Technology, Traveling, Sexuality, Fitness, Internet, Computers, Television, Motors, Organisations.

Types Of Music That I Like: R&B, Calypso, Reggae, Gospel, Hip Hop.

Types Of Movies That I Like: Animated, Comedy, Science Fiction, Thriller, Adventure, Action, Documentary.

People Don't Know That: I'm a very private person.

My Favourite Quote: "My life for your life, your life for my life."

My Favourite Website:

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day

Love is a burning desire,
That makes your heart light on fire,

Love is being with you,

Someone saying I love you too,
Love is your tender kiss,

Something you don't want to miss,

Love is you and me,
And that is all I see.

Happy Valentine's Day to all.