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.