Sunday, August 29, 2010

Fire Leaves 15 Homeless

Fifteen people were left homeless this afternoon when fire tore through their Hothersal Turning, St. Michael home just after 4:15. Not even the swift response of the Barbados Fire Service and neighbours could save the wooden structure, which was owned by Jackie Griffith and occupied by her children and their offspring.

According to Janelle Griffith, who has lived in the house for all of her 30 years, only her sister Katrina was at home when the blaze started and she was asleep.

"We are still trying to figure out what happened," Janelle Griffith said to Barbados TODAY, while pointing out as darkness set in that the family still did not know where they would spend the night.

Among those left homeless were: Kimberley Griffith, who will be 23 tomorrow, Katrina, 20, Tasha "Sherry-Ann" Broomes, 25, Sheldeene Applewhaite, 34, and Sherry Murrell, 30 along with children Jerome Blackman, Jakobi, Sheridan, Amari, Kadija and Kayla Murrell and Fabian Griffith.

Late this evening the family spoke by telephone with Minister of Housing Michael Lashley, who put them in contact with senior officials of the National Housing Corporation, who at the time of publication was searching for emergency accommodation for the family.


Saturday, August 28, 2010

Firefighters Launch Online Store

We are please to announce the launch of our online store. Members of the public are invited to visit the store and view over 30 different products available for purchase. To order merchandise all you need is a Visa Card, MasterCard or American Express Card. Payments may also be made using Pay-Pal as well.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Young Fire Masters Graduate

The twenty-three junior fire cadets who graduated from the 10th annual Barbados Fire Service Junior Fire Cadet Programme on Friday evening were encouraged to continue on the path towards becoming skilled firemen and women of the Barbados Fire and Rescue Service.

Master of Ceremonies, Roger Bourne, divulged some of the future plans for the programme: “It has been the service’s desire over the years to take these children after they have passed through and bring them back into a structured environment where they can use those skills comfortably for the development of the service.

“It has been taking some time but I am sure that some point in the future we will be able to achieve that objective, where we can invite the young ones to come back and perhaps go along with some of the senior fire officers in installing smoke alarms in the houses of elderly persons and other community services,” he stated during an enjoyable and well attended ceremony at the Arch Hall Fire Station in Thomas.

He added that the key to building a stronger fire service is to train the individuals and follow that up with drawing on their resources to further the fire prevention programmes. The cadets were the stars of the ceremony as they provided brilliant entertainment during the drill displays in showing off their newly-acquired but already mastered fire-fighting skills.

Sharp footed marching preceded the eagerly anticipated fire inclusive fire extinguisher, group and one-man hose and hydrant and fire blanket drills – all of which were expertly and successfully executed in removing the simulated fire threats.

Speaking on the origins and importance of the cadet programme, Bourne said service oriented children such as those involved in Girl Guides and Boy Scouts were initially targeted in the camp’s earlier years but that a decision was taken to incorporate students from a wider cross-section of the community that were likely to have a high level of discipline.

“You can see how taking that group of individuals and moulding them into a unit, how much work and dedication it would take, because you have to spend an additional period of time adapting to the attitude and modify some of their behaviours and attitudes,” he said, in commending the facilitating instructors.

In her brief remarks, Patricia Worrell, parent of cadet Sherria Worrell, said the programme stood out from among the other summer camps being conducted around the island, especially since her initially sceptical daughter immersed herself in learning from her new experiences.

“I was pleased to see that in addition to the fun activities such as sports and craft, it offered essential life skills, discipline, team-building, water conservation and fire safety and prevention and I am sure most parents would agree that the...children had life-altering experiences,” she announced.

Gratitude was also expressed towards the camp sponsors SOL (Barbados) Limited and Roberts Manufacturing who “have under-written the costs by supporting year after recognising its value” and assurance given that another 10 years of the programme will be supported even more by corporate Barbados.


Saturday, August 14, 2010

Burnt Out

A daring daylight robbery at Chicken Galore came to a fiery conclusion on Bank Hall Main Road, St. Michael around 3:20 this afternoon.

Depot manager Ingrid Eastmond said a man entered the store and demanded money from the cashier, which he received. However, he immediately lit a piece of cloth in a bottle he was carrying and threw it behind the counter resulting in the store becoming engulfed in flames.

This forced staff and customers inside the store to scamper for safety as the fire quickly spread. A visibly shaken employee Wendy Ross, who was in the store at the time, was seated in a car awaiting the arrival of an ambulance, when a Barbados TODAY team arrived on the scene. But up until 5 p.m. the ambulance had not arrived.

Meanwhile, other employees stood nearby and watched as firemen worked at extinguishing the blaze. The road was quickly cordoned off by police as traffic began to build with the approach of rush hour and crowds began to gather.

One regular customer said she was parking to come into the outlet when she saw a man wearing a white shirt and black pants running from the store. She wondered what was going on, but soon learnt that the store was robbed and on fire. Without hesitation, the woman said she called the police and went to the assistance of a female employee from the store who was visibly shaken.

However, a car owner is counting his losses after accidently locking the keys inside the vehicle which was parked right next to the burning building. That’s because onlookers moved swiftly to break the window with a brick and drove the car to safety. Police public relations officer Inspector David Welch said they received a call from a woman around 3:32 p.m. indicating that Chicken Galore had been robbed. An estimate of the damage could not be determined up to Press time.


Thursday, August 12, 2010

Move To Curb Fires In City

Firefighters are in the process of interviewing residents in New Orleans in a fire prevention campaign targeted directly at residents of Bridgetown and its environs. This community risk assessment survey of households in and around The City is in preparation for the Fighting Fire With Fire Protection Programme. It is tailored to reduce residential house fires and improve life safety conditions.

Members of the Barbados Fire Service Fire Prevention and Community Relations Unit are calling on households daily from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. “We are collecting data about fire and other hazards which may exist in these communities, for implementing a strategy to reduce the level of risk, improve life safety and furnish residents with knowledge, tools and equipment,” said Acting Chief Fire Officer Randolph Cox.

“They could then respond appropriately to certain incidents while in the initial stages, consequently limiting the chances of outright or total loss in some instances.” The Fire Service and the Rotary Club of Barbados West joined together to create the Fighting Fire With Fire Protection Programme that will be rolled out during International Fire Prevention Week October 3-9.

This approach is intended to:
• instal and maintain fire safety systems to protect people and property from fire;
• reduce fire risk, thereby creating a fire safe community;
• create goodwill and better customer service within urban communities;
• ensure that appropriate training and information is provided on fire safety to the community;
• contribute to community development, and,
• provide conditions for insurability through risk reduction.

“The Barbados Fire Service continues to be challenged with a high incidence of calls to structural fires, which [cause] a significant level of loss from fire damage to both residential and commercial properties,” said Cox. “In this context,” he added, “the service will be using this year’s theme Beep! Beep! Beep! Smoke Alarm: A Sound You Can Live With to guide the focus for this programme. Its ultimate success, however, is dependent on the cooperation of the residents.” (BGIS)

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Hired Car Business Gutted By Fire

The Ballantyne family at Durants, St James, had one of their biggest shocks yesterday morning when fire broke out in the garage adjoining two homes.

Six vehicles belonging to the family’s hired car business were burnt, and family member Rudolph Ballantyne said he estimated the loss at more than $100 000.

Proprietor of the business, Bibian Ballantyne, was overseas. His son Rudolph said the cars were being repaired. The fire was brought under control in less than an hour.

Acting Divisional Officer at the Arch Hall Fire Station, Glanville Collins, confirmed they responded to the call around 9:12 a.m., with four fire tenders, two from Arch Hall, one from Weston and the other from Bridgetown.


Sunday, August 1, 2010

Exercise Caution This Busy Weekend

Members of the public are encouraged to exercise caution during this busy Crop Over weekend period. As the level of alcohol consumption increases, motorist should be extremely vigilant on our highways.

The Barbados Fire Service will be continuing its operational deployment by providing fire/rescue coverage and complimentary stand by (mass crowd events) at the following events; Bridgetown Market, Cohobblopot and Grand Kadooment.

Photo compliments: Antonio Beckles