Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Seven Homeless After House Fire

Seven persons are reported to be homeless after a house fire at My Lord's Hill, St Michael this morning. One house was extensively damaged and another slightly after being burnt by fire.

Nine officers with two fire tenders from Fire Service Headquarters under the command of acting Station Officer Gordon Boxill responded to the 9:14 a.m. blaze. Police and Fire officials are currently investigating the cause of the fire. (e-Report photo by G Alleyne).

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Firefighters To Appear On 'Mornin Barbados'

Tune into CBC TV8 tomorrow morning from 6:00 a.m. Two members from the Fire Prevention and Community Relations Unit of the Barbados Fire Service will join the hosts of 'Mornin Barbados'. This informative segment should not be missed.

See CBC TV8 on-demand video clips: http://www.cbc.bb/index.pl/video1

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Fire Service Getting An Ease

This year started out as a tough one for members of the Barbados Fire Service, as their human resources were stretched due to an upsurge in grass, cane and house fires in the months of January and February. Reports indicated that these blazes were having a negative impact on firefighters, since they were “going almost the complete period of the tour of duty without rest”.

However, while speaking to the Barbados Advocate yesterday, Acting Chief Fire Officer Randolph Cox noted that of late the Fire Service has seen a reduction in fires. But, he is still appealing to the public to exercise caution and engage in fire prevention strategies as Barbados is still undergoing a period of drought, and the situation is further compounded each time the Fire Service has to send out tenders to respond to any fire.

“We are not having as many fires as we had during the first two months of the year. We have seen a reduction daily and I would encourage all Barbadians to continue to ensure that we don’t have these fires going in Barbados, because we already know what is happening to our water resources. That has been expressed many times and even the farmers now are telling us what effects the number of grass fires are having on their ability to produce milk etc. And hence I would encourage all Barbadians to desist from lighting fires outdoors,” Cox remarked.

He is urging persons to desist from the practice of indiscriminate or backyard burning during this dry spell. Cox revealed that the Fire Prevention and Community Relations Unit will be embarking on a special programme to hone in on problem areas.

“We are planning to target those areas which present us with the greatest challenges. The Fire Prevention Unit will be targeting these areas to take the message directly into the communities and help to reduce the amount of fires we are having,” he said.

The acting chief fire officer also had a message for persons who are constantly affected by those who burn in the open air, but who are not aware of the assistance they can get in such a circumstance.

“Every time there is fire, the Fire Service should be called,” he stated.

Source: www.barbadosadvocate.com

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Fire Burns Several Trees At Neil's Tenantry

A number of trees at Neil's Tenantry, St. Michael became the latest casualties of the on-going spate of grass fires. Firefighters spent several hours extinguishing grass and trees during Tuesday afternoon. (e-Report photo by P Christie)

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Fire Destroys House At Drax Hall Hope

Another home has been burnt by fire. Fire Officers from the St John Fire Station and Fire Service Headquarters responded to the 6:18 a.m. blaze yesterday which completely destroyed a timber house at Drax Hall Hope, St George. Ten officers under the command of acting Station Officer Gordon Boxill and Divisional Officer Glanville Collins attended the fire. (e-Report photo by G Alleyne)

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Five Homeless Following Fire

Three children, ages three, five and six, and their parents are today without a home after the two bedroom timber house in which they lived at Bourbon, St Lucy was destroyed by fire

Two cats, three dogs and a number of fish also lost their lives in the blaze, which started just after noon. Shelly-Ann Skinner and Edwin Lampkin, surrounded by family and neighbours, looked at the ashes that remained of their home, clueless about what they were going to tell their sons or where they would sleep tonight. The house was not insured.

Skinner said her boyfriend left home around six this morning, followed by her and the children two hours later. Just after noon, they each got a call that their home was on fire. But by the time
they arrived only five dogs and one cat were saved from the inferno.

Lampkin explained the dogs that died in the blaze were tied to their kennels while the cats and fish were inside the house. He added that a number of people from the area tried to save the
house and animals, but the the heat was more than they could handle. “As fast as it start it was gone,” said one resident.

Clutching one of the surviving cats close to her chest, Skinner called her Pretty Girl, but she was thinking of renaming her Lucky, since she left her outside this morning. “Her sister and adopted sister are all gone,” the woman said.

Two water tenders from the Weston, St James and Arch Hall, St Thomas stations and ten fire officers under the command of Divisional Officer Wilfred Marshall responded to the blaze. (JRB)

Source: www.barbadostoday.bb 18/03/2010

Monday, March 15, 2010

Fire Service Sports Club On A Mission To Rebuild

The new Executive Committee of the Barbados Fire Service Sports and Social Cub (BFSSSC) has launched an ambitious programme to rebuild and restructure the organisation.

This was revealed by the newly appointed Public Relations Officer, Glyne Alleyne. Alleyne indicated that the programme seeks to increase membership, improve community relations, provide greater assistance to members, improve the financial disposition of the organisation and enhance the general services offered by the BFSSSC.

The organisation is also creating partnerships with social and commercial entities and is inviting interested parties to work with the Fire Service Sports Club. One of the major challenges as outlined by Alleyne is in the area of corporate sponsorship of its cricket and football teams. The financial burden of funding these two sporting disciplines has put tremendous strain on the organisation. This situation has prevented the organisation from pursuing other strategic developmental projects.

The BFSSSC is largely responsible for providing the social and recreational amenities at all fire stations across the island. The organisation provides televisions, videos, DVD players, gym equipment and cricket/football gear for members of the Barbados Fire Service. The multi-choice television subscription service at all fire stations is also paid for by the club. The BFSSSC is instrumental in supporting the fitness and physical well being of fire officers. The organisation was established in 1955 and has rendered invaluable service to firefighters and the public. Members of the public interested in joining the organisation may contact President, Ryan Lovell at 426-3504/09 or by email: bfssports@mail.com.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Fire Prevention 2K8 Video Added To YouTube

Description: Members of the Fire Prevention and Community Relations Unit of the Barbados Fire Service conducting a community outreach programme at the Super Centre Supermarket in Warrens during Fire Prevention Week 2008.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

House Extensively Damaged By Fire In The Bayland

At approximately 1835 hrs on Tuesday firefighters responded to a house fire in the Bayland, St. Michael. One stone structure was extensively damaged by fire, two fire tenders from Fire Service Heaquarters under the command of acting Deputy Fire Chief Lloydson Phillips fought the blaze. (e-Report photo by R Best)

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Motor Vehicle Accident At South District

One man was rushed to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital by ambulance after the motor vehicle he was driving collided with a utility pole at South District, St. George yesterday evening. Fire Officers from Fire Service Headquarters using the jaws-of-life extricated the driver from the vehicle, which was extensively damaged. (e-Report photo by C Bishop)

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Two Vehicle Accident Near Foursquare

A motor vehicle accident near Foursquare, St. Philip resulted in two persons receiving medical attention from EMTs late Friday night. Two vehicles were involved, both were extensively damaged. Fire Officers from the Worthing Fire Station and Fire Service Headquarters responded to the accident. (e-Report photo by R Best)

Friday, March 5, 2010

Fiery Destruction

Fire raged across Hangman’s Hill, through Vaucluse and into Christie Village, St Thomas today destroying one house, damaging three others, killing 16 pigs, two rabbits, four Akita dogs.

What started out as a grass fire in Hangman’s Hill, St Thomas quickly spread through the district, leaving a trail of destruction and thousands of dollars in losses in its fiery path, and the burnt out shells of thousands of Giant African Snails.

From as early nine this morning fire fighters from the Probyn Street headquarters were battling the blaze at Hangman’s Hill. But, as the fire spread through Vaucluse and into Christie Village they sent for back-up. This included two additional tenders, bringing the total number to four, one water tanker from C.O. Williams and one from the Barbados Water Authority, and 21 fire fighters under the command of the Deputy Chief Fire Officer Llyodson Phillips.

Cynthia Odle said she was at work at Sandy Lane this morning when she saw two fires in the area. By lunch time, she saw a third fire and recognised that it was her house.

“When I get here the fire was blazing coming in the direction of my house,” she said. She added that the fire burnt all around her home, including the wall structure that was under construction, and her pigs and rabbits.

“I am [estimating] about $12,000 in losses and that is just the building and labour and does not include the animals,” she said, Odle said she experienced something similar last year, but this year is was worse than ever. “It is a miracle my house is still standing,” she said, giving praise and glory to God.

However, Oscar Dottin was not so lucky. The house he inherited and lived in was burnt flat, along with his four Akitas. He too was at work when he got a call from a friend telling him the two bedroom house was on fire.

However, his biggest loss was his tools, valued around $22,000, which he used in construction. “Most of my papers were inside the house, my tools, and I had a couple more jobs with estimates and people’s [house] plans in there that got burn up,” he lamented.

He added that starting over would be rough. Divisional fire officer Wilfred Marshall said there was a wide expanse of dry grass and bush in the area and the wind was high causing the fire to spread, igniting the house.

While on the scene, fire officers also received reports that the fire was burning canes at Duke’s, St Thomas. “This is a bad one,” he said. He explained that there were using three large tenders, each carrying 600 gallons of water, and one small tender carrying 100 gallons, and they were supplemented by private water tankers. “The fire burned all the way around,” he said.

When contacted around seven tonight, fire officers confirmed that the fire had rekindled at Hangman’s Hill, St Thomas. The Barbados TODAY also received reports of the St James Secondary School and a nearby nursery school closing as a result of smoke in the area. However, fire officers said they did not have any reports of fire in the area.

Meanwhile the district emergency officer for St Thomas, Clive Augustin urged residents to join the organisation, which can come to their assistance in circumstances such as those.

Source: www.barbadostoday.bb

E-Report Video Added To YouTube

Cane Fires

The fires that have been raging across Barbados during the last three months have had a devastating impact on the sugar industry.

The sector has lost just over five thousand tonnes of sugar, which means it will struggle to reach the 30 thousand tonnes target this year. The scale of the fires has been so massive it forced the crop to start one week earlier than planned on February 8th.

Sugar officials say just over five thousand tonnes of canes have been lost as a result of cane fires . They also say that out of the 64 thousand tonnes of canes they have received at the island's two sugar factories, Andrew's and Portvale, 20 percent of all these canes have been burnt.

They say this means that Barbados will be struggling to reach its target of 30 thousand tonnes this year.

So far for the crop the island has produced just under 69 hundred tonnes of sugar, with Andrew's leading the way producing 4690 tonnes and Portvale 2182 tonnes.

The sugar crop is expected to last between 13 to 14 weeks ending around the third week in May. Last year Barbados produced just over 34 thousand tonnes of sugar. Most was shipped to the European market.

Meanwhile police are carrying out investigations into a series of bush and cane fires which occurred in the St. James area recently. According to the police public relations department a man is now assisting them as they probe the latest blaze also in that parish

Source: www.cbc.bb

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Grass Fire Ignite Shingle Roof At Westmoreland

Wind blown embers from a grass fire at Westmoreland, St. James ignited the shingle roof of a nearby home this afternoon. Fire Officers from the St. James Fire Station and Fire Service Headquarters under the command of Station Officer Willis O'Neale responded to the fire. (e-Report photo by R Best)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Motor Vehicle Accident Near Top Rock

Fire Officers from Worthing Fire Station and Fire Service Headquarters responded to a motor vehicle accident near the Top Rock Roundabout, Christ Church around 11:11 a.m. this morning. One female occupant was extricated by firefighters using the jaws-of-life. The accident involved a route taxi and two sports utility vehicles. (e-Report photo by T Griffith)

Monday, March 1, 2010

Social Networking With Bajan Firefighters

As social networking sites continue to grow in popularity, the Barbados Fire Service is the first emergency service agency in the island to seize the initiative and maintain a strong connection with the public.

“We have been following the development of the various social networking sites, looking at the ones that are popular and user friendly, selecting Blogger, Twitter, Facebook, Ning, YouTube and Ustream,” informed the man behind the scenes, Fire Officer Glyne Alleyne.

“The Fire Department officially came on the Internet in 1998, but Bajan firefighters came about because, while the department’s website gives us an official web presence where we disseminate information to the public, we realised no provision was made for fire officers to interact.”

As a result, Alleyne started the blog: Bajan firefighters, in 2001. Since then, the group has embraced public interest and diversified, with 950 members (and counting) having signed on to the Bajan firefighters Facebook page.

“We are very pleased with the response from the public so far. People generally have a curiosity about the Fire Service and I find that by putting what we do online – our major incidents and various events in the department – we’ve managed to attract and maintain a public following that is more concerned and who is interested in the Fire Service.”

Updated almost daily, the information remains timely, relevant and credible – with all posted in-cidents being validated. Members of the public can follow fire incidents, motor vehicle accidents and rescues via the feed on twitter.com/bajanfire and are updated as incidents escalate or are brought under control.

Alleyne indicated that the initiative has also served to “provide a bridge between Barbados and the rest of the world”, with firefighters from across the globe being represented on the Facebook community. “Aside from Facebook and Twitter, we have also been making good use of YouTube, and one of the things that we are looking at introducing this year is the video diaries,” Alleyne revealed.

These video diaries will give persons around the world the opportunity to have a look at the Barbados Fire Service’s day-to-day activities, allowing viewers the chance to see the fire officers in operation – on and off station. “This will provide better insight of the job we’re doing on a daily basis,” stated Alleyne, adding that he is “very excited about that prospect”.

Alleyne specified that he also hopes to launch E-Reports (electronic reports) and give the fire officers the ability to send, via their mobile phones, video clips and photos from various incidents back to the site. “As we look at how well it works, we’ll also invite the public to do the same thing,” said Alleyne, while urging the public to utilise this facility to report grass and cane fires (as well as other incidents) to the service when it is made available.

Persons interested in becoming a member of the Bajan firefighters community can do so by heading over to facebook.com/bajanfirefighters or bajanfirefighters.blogspot.com, where links to other social networking sites are included.

Source: www.barbadosadvocate.com