Saturday, January 30, 2010

Fire Officer Rodney King Laid To Rest

Hundreds of family, friends and fire officers filled the Christ Church Parish Church on Thursday to pay final respects to Fire Officer Rodney King.

King, 45, of Lodge Road, Christ Church died recently at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital after a brief illness. He enlisted in the Barbados Fire Service in 1991 and was last assigned to Fire Service Headquarters on Probyn Street in Bridgetown.

Rodney was an ardent cricket fan and could be found very often on Saturdays at the Passage Road grounds.

The Administration and members of the Barbados Fire Service take this opportunity to extend our heartfelt thanks to the family for the dedicated service rendered by Rodney Addison King.

Fire Service Takes A Stand For Road Safety

The Barbados Fire Service has asserted its support of road safety in Barbados, with acting Chief Fire Officer Randolph Cox adding his name to the petition for the institution of breathalyzer testing in Barbados.

Cox performed this symbolic act on Friday after a workshop on road safety held at the Bridgetown Fire Service headquarters. The workshop was held by the Committee for the Prevention of Alcoholism and Drug Dependency (NCPADD), Chief Cox noted that the fire service is called to several road accidents during the year and while statistics for 2010 are on par with 2009 they would like to see a reduction “to zero if possible”.

NCPADD head Pastor Victor Roach said that the workshop aimed to increase “the sensitivity of the individuals who comprise this marvelous staff to begin a process of self regulation.” He added that the fire service is especially positioned to recognize the impact of drunk driving because they “are on the roads 24 hours a day, 365 days a year”.

He added that this meant the BFS could help inform the future national policy with the information they have available on vehicular accidents.

Chief Cox leads a staff of nearly 244 uniformed officers and approximately 24 civilian support personnel. The BFS responds to over 2000 calls annually.

Source: Barbados Advocate

Friday, January 29, 2010

Firemen Stretched To Limit

Barbados’ Fire Officers were stretched to the limit today battling several grass fires.

Sub-officer Arlington Kellman told Barbados TODAY the fires had occurred all over the island from St Lucy to Christ Church.

Lester Vaughan School in Cane Garden, St Thomas was closed before noon after smoke from a nearby fire engulfed it, prompting school officials to summon the Emergency Ambulance Service.

At 4:15 p.m. today, the Barbados Fire Service had responded to 11 grass fires, one container fire and one house fire in Club Morgan, Christ Church.

“Between now and March, we get an average of 25 a day. So far we are going at 417 fires, and we can average 20 day,” he said.

That figure includes all types of fires, not just grass. Kellman said that sugar canes were also affected with the plots lost in Christ Church, St George and St John. (DS)


Monday, January 25, 2010

Fire Guts St George Home

Police are investigating the circumstances surrounding a house fire yesterday in Bourne's Village, St George.

The stone building, occupied by Carlos Wickham, was extensively damaged and its contents destroyed after the morning blaze.

Two appliances from the Barbados Fire Service's Probyn Street headquarters responded to the 8:28 a.m. call, along with seven officers under the command of Divisional Officer Glanville Collins.

Police could not say whether the house was insured. (CA)


Sunday, January 24, 2010

Public Viewing - Fire Officer Rodney King

Please note that the body of Fire Officer Rodney King will repose for public viewing on Wednesday, January 27, 2010 at Fire Service Headquarters, Probyn Street, Bridgetown from 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

A book of condolence is currently available at Fire Service Headquarters, however, emails of condolence and other tributes may be sent to King's family via Jo-Anne Jones Funeral Services: or (246) 418-0879 or (246) 262-8745.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Fire Service Association Holds General Meeting

The Barbados Fire Service Association held its General Meeting yesterday at Fire Service Headquarters, Probyn Street in Bridgetown. During the meeting Chairman of the Association Clarence Hinds addressed several areas of concern some of which included; the draft qualification order, outstanding departmental promotions, the appointment of temporary fire officers, and an update on recent administrative meetings held within the service.

A large number of fire officers attended the meeting which, began just after 10:30 a.m. Deputy Chairman Adrian Brome also spoke to association members during the meeting providing them with a status report on civil works planned for several fire stations.

Fire Officers used the opportunity to express their concerns regarding several internal departmental issues. Those gathered also paid tribute with a minute’s silence for fellow firefighter Rodney King who died at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital last Saturday. The meeting concluded around 1:00 p.m.

Presentation Ceremony Held In Honour Of Deceased Firefighter

Members of the Barbados Fire Service gathered at Fire Service Headquarters, Probyn Street in Bridgetown on Thursday afternoon to pay tribute to fellow firefighter Rodney King. Fire Officer King who joined the service in 1991 died at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital last Saturday after a brief illness.

The officers held a short presentation ceremony in honour of King which was attended by his family and members of the press. During the ceremony monetary donations were presented by Sub. Officer Trevor Cadogan on behalf of fellow firefighters and by Adrian Brome, Deputy Chairman of the Fire Service Association.

Neal Smithwick Regional Director of the International Association of Black Professional Fire Fighters also presented King’s son Shannon with a photograph of his dad on the job.

Caribbean Warned To Brace For More Devastating Earthquakes

Caribbean governments are being warned that they should adequately prepare their countries to deal with earthquakes with a bigger magnitude than what occurred in Haiti earlier this week leaving trail of death and destruction.

Initial reports indicate that as many as 50,000 people may have been killed when the earthquake struck Port au Prince on Tuesday.

University of the West Indies (UWI) seismologist, Dr. Joan Lutchman, said Friday that records show that the Caribbean has been hit with powerful earthquakes in the past than the 7.3 magnitude that rocked Haiti on Tuesday.

"One day it will happen the hazard is real, the earthquakes that can devastate the region can occur and one day it will occur," she said, noting that the region lies on several "plates" giving rise to the earthquake and volcanic activity experienced throughout the Eastern Caribbean.

"..and it is the reason why we expect that we have seen in the past will continue in the future because of the boundaries, because the plates continue to move.

"Earthquakes will continue to occur, we are recording small earthquakes all the time, sometimes once a month, they are large enough for some people to feel them, so we know the processes are continuing," she said.

Latchman warned Caribbean countries that the earthquakes would be disastrous "only if we do not cater for it, "adding "the reason that we are seeing the kind of devastation in Haiti is because, yes it is a large earthquake, there is no question about that, but other factors came together to create the disaster we are seeing there.

"It occurred at shallow depth, it occurred not far from Port au Prince, there is a large population in Port au Prince and the housing stock is very poorly constructed. So you have a high density population in an area that experienced extremely high shaking along with the poor construction.

"So if you don't have all these things coming into play, it (earthquake) does not necessarily have to be ugly," she said noting how the Japan has been able to deal with earthquakes with stronger magnitudes than what occurred in Haiti.

"You have earthquakes occurring in Japan of that kind of magnitude more regularly than you have them in the Caribbean but you don't see that kind of disaster in Japan anymore because they have learnt from their experiences and they have catered their development in consistent with their hazard," she said, noting that "it is a lesson we should take on board".

She warned that the Caribbean does not have "bottomless resources" and that "when we extend our resources we should be seeking to ensure that we don't have to do that over."

The UWI seismologist dismissed suggestions that the earthquake which hit Haiti was "the big one" intended for the United States.

"No not at all. The Caribbean plates generate its own earthquakes and the North American plates have its own boundaries and will generate its own earthquakes," she said.

Latchman warned that ""many other big ones are still pending and that in the history of "our countries we have found reports indicating that earthquakes causing intensity higher than what occurred in Haiti on Tuesday have occurred here in Trinidad".

Source: Caribbean Media Corporation

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Haynesville Family Homeless After Blaze

An afternoon blaze at Haynesville St James, has left a family of four homeless.

The victims of the fire were Shakita, Shawn and Andre Burgess, along with six-year-old Shakobi. The family lost everything in the fire, when their uninsured timber and wall home was destroyed.

Dr Anthony Cummins, Bishop of Shalom Outreach Ministries next door, was there when the fire began.

"I was teaching some architectural classes when the children started to smell something burning. It started to affect me, too, but by the time I looked out, there was a fire blazing from the back," he said.

Cummins said he and some fellows from the area attempted to save some of the contents, but only managed to get a damaged sofa frame. So they instead used a hose to drench the Shalom building.

None of the occupants was at home when the fire started, but Member of Parliament for St James South Donville Inniss said that he was working with the Urban Development Commission and the Welfare department to help the family.

Nine fire officers and two tenders, one from Probyn Street headquarters and one from Arch Hall Station, under the command of divisional officer Wilfred Marshall, responded to the 3:33 p.m call. (DB)