Thursday, December 29, 2011

Minibus And SUV Collide At Hampton

Barbados’ mass casualty machinery was pressed into action early this afternoon when 23 people were injured in a smash up involving a minibus and a sports utility vehicle. The quiet stretch of Hampton Road, St. Philip became a scene of glass and twisted metal after the two vehicles collided around 1:23 p.m. leaving 22 persons from the bus nursing various injuries. Only one, Nigel Hewitt of 4th Avenue New Orleans, St. Michael, was reported to be in serious condition. (Source: Barbados Today)

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Message from Chief Fire Officer - Don’t Let Your Guard Down

The streaming lights, the Christmas carols, the bustling crowds in Bridgetown are a dead give away that the yuletide season is here again. This is a time that evokes a great deal of chatter about the things people cherish the most. Many promises are made and the excitement created is intense. It's a time of giving and sharing and the hope is that the season will bring with it lots of cheer, good health and prosperity.
This expectation may seem utopian. Nevertheless persons are never deterred from trying to attain it. They will spend all and in the end be spent themselves to reach their goal and meet every expectation. In this quest, however, some vulnerability is created which, if left unchecked can bring chaos instead of cheer, horror instead of happiness and poverty instead of prosperity.
Around every festive season, and especially around Christmas, people become so busy and preoccupied with expendables that they lose sight of essentials. They drop they guard and become enveloped in a cloud of complacency. They sacrifice safety considerations for convenience and hope that everything will hold together even though little attention is being paid to it.
The Barbados Fire Service is very cognisant of this reality and, therefore, takes this opportunity at this time of the year to encourage all citizens to strive to achieve the maximum good but not at the expense of any aspect of safety. Our primary concern is life safety. So we are asking that a safe environment is created and maintained for facilities which house, senior citizens, the elderly who live alone, children day care facilities, recreational facilities and shopping facilities.

Pay special attention to electrical maintenance, natural gas and liquid petroleum gas pipe work and equipment and the storage of solvents, resins, other flammable materials and household chemicals. Remember and practice the following fire safety tips to increase your chances of having a fire safe Christmas season:
  • Do not overload electrical sockets
  • Unplug all non-essential appliances when leaving home
  • Follow the manufacturer's recommendations when streaming lights
  • Unplug lights when no one is at home
  • Do not leave open flames unsupervised
  • Keep infants and toddlers out of the kitchen
  • Keep matches and lighters away from children
  • Do not leave children alone and unattended
  • Keep live Christmas trees well watered
  • Do not attempt to cook if you have been drinking, taking medication which will make you drowsy or if you are tired
  • Install a smoke alarm just outside of the kitchen and in the bedroom corridors
  • Store chemicals and flammable substances outside of the house in a well ventilated area
  • Do not place candles near curtains or other combustible materials
  • Do not smoke in bed or while lying down on a sofa
  • Place cigarette ends in a deep ashtray with water
  • Check the iron and stove before you leave home.
While this list of safety instructions is not exhaustive, simple adherence to it will create a win-win situation for both the general public as well as members of the Fire Service in that overall life safety will be improved, property will be preserved and the Service will continue to experience a decline in major fire call as indicated by the statistics.

While the statistics conveys a very encouraging picture it can all be rapidly eroded if a constant vigil is not kept over those elements which can easily create tragedy and disrupt lives.

Each one is, therefore, responsible for ensuring that the attention being currently paid to safety practices in the home and workplace is continued. It is this conscious and calculated action that will add value to the concept of a merry and peaceful Christmas.

On the behalf of the administration and all other members of the Barbados Fire Service, I take this opportunity to wish all citizens and all those who are visiting and working in our economic space, a very safe and peaceful Christmas season as well as good health and happiness for 2012.

By Wilfred Marshall - Chief Fire Officer

Merry Christmas To You All

Friday, December 23, 2011

Fire Service Receives New Bus

The Barbados Fire Service is in possession of a new bus. The 30 seater Nissan vehicle was delivered yesterday morning to Fire Service Headquarters, on Probyn Street, Bridgetown.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Funeral Service Of Harold Berkeley Payne

Retired Sub-Officer Harold Berkeley Payne was laid to rest yesterday afternoon after a service of thanksgiving at the Coral Ridge Chapel in Christ Church. Several off-duty members of the Barbados Fire Service joined the official Fire Service bearer party, gazetted ranks, relatives and members of the Fairy Valley Wesleyan Holiness Church.

Payne 67, of Fairy Valley, Christ Church formerly of Boscobelle, St. Peter died on Tuesday, September 13 at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and is survived by his wife Coreen Payne and four children. 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 Harold Berkeley Payne.

IRP Ltd Sponsors Fire Service Cricket Team

Roger Corbie, IRP Ltd and Ryan Lovell, Barbados Fire Service Sports Club.
IRP Fire & Safety Ltd has partnered with the Barbados Fire Service Sports and Social Club (BFSSSC) as the major sponsor for this year. This announcement was made recently during a brief ceremony at Fire Service Headquarters in Bridgetown.

During the ceremony Roger Corbie a representative of IRP Fire & Safety Ltd presented Ryan Lovell, President of the BFSSSC and Lonsdale Blake, Captain of the Fire Service Cricket Team with polo shirts to outfit the entire team.

IRP Fire & Safety Ltd represents many well-known international organizations such as MSA, Fike, Williams Fire & Hazard Control and Darley Fire-Fighting Equipment. IRP Fire & Safety Ltd has the only MSA Certified Service Centre in the region.

The original company was founded in Trinidad and Tobago in 1973 as Industrial Rubber Products Ltd and later became known to many as IRP. Since then IRP has evolved and grown into providers of solutions for almost every industry.

Friday, September 23, 2011

6 Ton Obsolete Satellite Falling To Earth

A nearly 6-ton satellite is gradually falling from Earth orbit, and parts of it could crash to the surface as early as Friday, September 23 (today), NASA officials said. NASA officials told ABC News overnight that they won't know where the satellite will hit until two hours before it enters the Earth's atmosphere, moving at 5 miles per second.

The space agency's space debris experts predict that at least 26 large pieces of the satellite will survive the scorching temperatures of atmospheric re-entry. But exactly where the UARS satellite debris will fall is uncertain. NASA officials have said that the drop zone for UARS satellite debris could be anywhere between the latitudes of northern Canada and southern South America, an area that includes much of the planet.

The satellite should re-enter over a 500-mile (804-kilometer) track, according to NASA officials. Since 75 percent of Earth is covered with ocean, there is a high likelihood that the satellite will re-enter over the sea or a remote, uninhabited stretch of land, Victoria Samson, the Washington Office Director of the Secure World Foundation, an organization dedicated to the peaceful use of outer space, told last week.

If the satellite does fall while flying over a populated region of Earth, skywatchers on the ground could see a dazzling light show if they have clear weather, Nick Johnson, chief scientist of NASA's Orbital Debris Program at the agency's Johnson Space Center in Houston, said on Sept. 9. As of Sunday, the UARS was flying in an orbit that reached a high point of about 149 miles (240 km) above Earth, according to NASA's latest update.

That is down from an orbit that peaked at an altitude of 171 miles (275 km) on Sept. 8. [Infographic: NASA's Falling UARS Satellite Explained] And UARS is falling closer to Earth with each passing orbit. The huge satellite is 35 feet (10.7 meters) long and 15 feet (4.5 m) wide, and has been falling faster than anticipated (initial re-entry estimates pegged its plunge to somewhere between late September and early October) due to increased solar activity last week.

Solar activity can cause the Earth's atmosphere to heat and expand, increasing drag on low-flying spacecraft. View full size imageThe U.S. Strategic Command at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., and NASA are keeping a close eye on the falling UARS spacecraft, but have said that they will only be able to pinpoint the satellite's point of impact to within about 6,000 miles (10,000 km) about two hours before re-entry due to its unpredictable nature, U.S. Air Force Maj. Michael Duncan, deputy chief of the U.S. Strategic Command's space situational awareness division, told reporters on Sept. 9.

NASA launched the $750 million UARS spacecraft in 1991 to study the ozone layer and other chemical compounds in Earth's upper atmosphere to better understand their role in the planet's climate. The satellite was initially designed for a three-year mission, but it lasted for 14 years until newer satellites made it obsolete. The UARS satellite was decommissioned in December 2005 when NASA commanded the spacecraft to fire its thrusters one last time to use all its remaining fuel to place it on a years-long path toward disposal in Earth's atmosphere.

If any pieces of the satellite debris do fall over or near a populated area, NASA and the U.S. military warn the public not to touch UARS remains. Instead, local law enforcement officials should be contacted, NASA officials said. Any debris from the UARS satellite still remains the property of the U.S. government and cannot be sold for profit to collectors or on eBay, they added.

56 Years For Barbados Fire Service

Come this Sunday, September 25, this country's Fire Service will celebrate 56 years in existence. And to mark the occasion, the department will host several activities under the theme Preserving Our Community Through Service Excellence.

The week will begin with divine worship on Sunday at St. Andrew's Anglican Church, Walkers, St. Andrew, beginning at 8:00 a.m.

From Monday, September 26, to Wednesday, September 28, there will be a series of open days at all Fire Stations. These will commence at 10:00 a.m. and members of the public will have the opportunity to visit and tour the facilities.

Also on September 26, there will be a health extravaganza at the Fire Service's Probyn Street Headquarters, Bridgetown. Visitors can get their cholesterol and blood pressure checked. Massages and pedicures will be offered, and fire safety tips will be exhibited.

The following day, Tuesday, September 27, the Airport Fire Station will host an equipment display from 10:00 a.m., which members of the public are invited to attend. Fire Officers Professional Day will come into focus on Wednesday, September 28, and participants will get the chance to take part in a quiz, which begins at 6:30 p.m. King George V Memorial Park will be the venue when the department hosts its picnic, sports and fun day, on Thursday, September 29, commencing at 9:00 a.m.

A parade and awards ceremony will take place at the Arch Hall Fire Station in St. Thomas, on Friday, September 30, at 3:30 p.m. The activities will culminate on Saturday, October 1, with a family fun fair, beginning at noon at the Fire Service headquarters. There will also be many attractions such as face painting, lucky dip and a jumping tent. The public is invited. (BGIS)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

56th Anniversary Of Hurricane Janet

Hurricane Janet the most powerful hurricane of the 1955 Atlantic hurricane season struck on September 22nd, 1955. This hurricane killed 38 people in Barbados and was one of the strongest Atlantic hurricanes on record.

The Category 5 hurricane caused catastrophic damage and at least 687 deaths in the Lesser Antilles, Yucat√°n Peninsula, and mainland Mexico. [The photo above shows Janet's historical track and position on this day in 1955. 13.2N 54.3W.]

Monday, September 12, 2011

New IABPFF Caribbean Regional Director

Congratulations to Bernard Bowen on his election to the post of Caribbean Regional Director with the International Association of Black Professional Fire Fighters. Bowen is a 30 year veteran firefighter and succeeds former Director Neal Smithwick. The Caribbean Region was incorporated in 1995 and is the 7th Region of the IABPFF.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

September 11 - 10th Anniversary

Today the world reflects on the horrible tragedy that occurred on September 11, 2001. On this the 10th Anniversary we honour the many firefighters, emergency services personnel and civilians whose lives were lost during the events of that day.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Lucky Ecape

Jean Griffith, 78, is counting her lucky stars after being rescued from a car that overturned yesterday morning just off a section of the ABC Highway between the Garfield Sobers Roundabout and the junction of Warners.

It was the quick action of Dexter Bishop, who was travelling in the opposite direction, that led to the release of Griffith who was trapped in her car. Bishop said that around 10:34 a.m., while he was driving along the highway, he saw the car lying on its top with the hazard lights flashing.

He realized someone was still in the car, so he called for help. Two fire tenders from the Bridgetown headquarters and the Worthing branch, police officers and ambulance personnel responded. Griffith was freed from the car shortly after 11 a.m. and taken to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. (MM)


Thursday, September 1, 2011

Man Homeless After Losing City Residence To Fire

Fire destroyed a house in Mason Hall Street, The City, yesterday. The blaze left 23-year-old Kenroy Crichlow homeless. In Swan Street Crichlow, not the owner of the house, told the DAILY NATION that he was in the nearby Swan Street, The City, when he was informed about the fire and rushed home.

“I was up town and he [a friend] come and tell me to get in the bar [of the bicycle] quick. When I get here everything was burn flat. I had a chance to save nothing. “I don’t have a place to live. I don’t know what to do right now, I really don’t know what to do,” said Crichlow.

Two houses were damaged during the blaze, which the Barbados Fire Service responded to around 2:18 p.m.


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Burning Nuisance

Two individuals may find themselves before the law courts soon for "burning stuff". The local lobby group Citizens Against Burning Stuff told Barbados TODAY that while there are no laws specifically dealing with the burning of stuff, it still constituted a public nuisance and they had had enough.

Following up on a promise to do so, president Wayne Willock said he had personally delivered a letter to the office of the Minister of Health Donville Inniss on the matter after the minister had come out in favour of something being done against perpetrators of the act of burning garbage. Willock had said after the minister's statements that the group was happy to have finally found a sympathetic ear to the plight of many, especially those with respiratory challenges.

"We strongly believe that the attention which we have been able to draw to this issue may have prompted this focus. We thank him [Inniss] for his timely recognition of this very inconsiderate practice or tradition and assures him that we stand ready to offer to be an important part of the process towards examining what needs to be done, improved or implemented in order to arrest the practice," said Willock.

He added that the group had been doing legal research into the matter, as well as "looking at determining viable alternatives", which they would write the minister on to offer CABS' assistance. Do more The president said he believed there was much that could be done to the indiscriminate perpetrators of the act. "Laws can be put in place to criminalise burning with the relevant fines and/or imprisonment. In certain US states the fine is $25,000. We also have legislation out of Bermuda which addresses the issue.

"We have case studies which target two individuals whom we intend to put before the law courts. At present there is no law against burning stuff which constitutes a public nuisance punishable by getting arrested and charged although public health inspectors have in their portfolio the right to have people charged if they persist after being warned," he stated.

This, however, he noted was not enforced like many other laws, adding that there was also the challenge of personal connections between inspector and perpetrator which could inhibit the correct procedures being followed. "This is called the 'blind eye syndrome'... What I intend to do is to lobby hard for big fines with jail terms for repeat offenders," he stated emphatically.

The group, he said, was still encouraging people to come forward with testimony and to join the group on Facebook or by emailing, to strengthen the lobby against the practice of burning stuff. (LB)


Monday, August 22, 2011

Girl Dies In Early Morning Accident

Barbados has recorded another road fatality. Dead is 24 year-old Tracy Watson of Fairfield Road, Black Rock. She died just before one Monday morning, along the Cummings section of the ABC highway after a smash up with another vehicle.

Watson who received multiply injuries died on the spot. She was in a car driven by, Jason Beckles of Welchman Hall St. Thomas. The vehicle collided with a motor van driven by Tyrone Watts of St. Peter. Watts complained of pains to the back of his head and he also had three other passengers on board, all of whom complained of injuries about their body and where taken to the QEH by ambulance.

The accident followed less than twelve hours after another fatal accident in which 65 year-old Eustace Padmore of Lemon Arbour St. John lost his life. He was struck by a truck driven by Renaldo Johnson of Hopewell St. Thomas.

That accident occurred at the junction of Green Hill and Lodge Hill St. Michael around 5:30 Sunday evening. The two deaths have brought the number of road fatalities for the year to sixteen. (CBC)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Alert Trio Sounds Fire Alarm

Quick action by three men averted what could have been a major disaster in Fitts Village, St James, just after 9 p.m. on Tuesday. Neal Hope, 23, Christopher Caines, 27, and Kegan Cumberbatch, 21, who live in the district said they were alerted by the smell of smoke.

“We smelt smoke and when we saw it was a house in the district, we rushed through the back gate, got a hose that was on the pipe and tried to out it,” said Hope, spokesman for the three. “We really had to do something, and that included wetting a nearby tree because the fire was starting to spread,” he added.

Three water tenders and seven fire officers responded to the fire which destroyed the house and damaged another. A fire official said the resident of the destroyed house, Jeffrey Brewster, was not at home at the time of the fire. (JG)


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Sharing Skills

Four and a half days of intensive training, conducted by the Barbados Coast Guard has better equipped 10 firefighters of the Barbados Fire Service.

In an effort to ensure the two services can work as a more cohesive team, the firefighters were trained in various aspects of emergency response, including in-water rescue, man overboard drills as well as training on the HMBS Leonard C. Banfield.

At the closing ceremony last Friday, Station Officer Mervin Mayers, stationed at BFS' Probyn Street headquarters, noted the organisation had acquired a new boat, and their training would be called on in the case of emergency situations where its use would be needed.

He also said the training would be another way to improve the customer service offered to the Barbadian public.

Those who graduated were: Acting Sub Officer Lever Jordan, Acting Leading Fire officer Andrew Boyce, and fire officers Junia Griffith, Pernel MCclean, Randy King, Daveson Deane, Lonsdale Blake, Kelan McCalla, Neil Small and Jason Johnson.

"[The two entities] work together and the Fire Service needs to be trained in how to use our equipment," Chief Petty Officer Ryan Selby said to Barbados TODAY at the closing ceremony of the programme this afternoon at the Coast Guard's Spring Garden base.

"In the case of flooding, for example, they would be better trained. For water rescues, like a fire at sea, where the Fire Service would be one of the first to be called, along with the Coast Guard, we will know how to work together as a well organised team." (LW)


Monday, August 15, 2011

Cadets Leave Blazing Trail


After five long weeks of hard, energy-sapping training, 23 Junior Fire Cadets showed off their skills to parents and other fire officials at a recent closing ceremony.

Patricia Archer, who spoke on behalf of parents, said that she would never have known about the programme if she was not involved in a training programme organised by the Fire Service.

Station Officer Mervin Mayers stated that the Fire Cadet programme should not be seen as another summer camp, but as a method of teaching discipline and deportment to the cadets.

After a march pass and thorough inspection, the cadets showed off the various fire displays that they had learnt in their time at the programme, including drill displays, hose and hydrant drills, one man hose and hydrant drill, ladder drill, fire blanket and skirt and dance.

Nalita Gajadhar from Bureau of Gender Affairs gave the featured address and told the students their ancestors had to fight for where they were today and that they should take the opportunities at hand and make good use of them.

She reminded the cadets of the need to make wise decisions, even with the obstacles that they might encounter in life.

Not only did the cadets perform for their parents in what they were taught but they were rewarded for their success as well. The Best Cadet was Tremaine Herbert, who also was awarded with four additional prizes - Best at Foot Drill, Best at Deportment, Most Disciplined and Instructors Trophy. (EM)


Friday, August 12, 2011

Carpenter Dies On The Job

A carpenter collapsed and died on the roof of a house he was repairing at Long Gap, Spooners Hill, St Michael, yesterday afternoon.

Dead is Randell Morris, 55, of Villa Road, Brittons Hill, St Michael. A co-worker told the DAILY NATION he was talking to Morris just prior to his fatal collapse around 5:55 p.m.

“I was on the ground talking to him when he just lay down,” he said. Fire Service officials responded to the emergency call. Station Officer Mervin Mayers said the officers checked for vitals, adding that someone had also attempted CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation). (CA)


Friday, August 5, 2011

Seven Primary Schools To Receive Assistance

The Bajan Fire Fighters' Network and the Barbados Fire Service are proud to partner with "Barbados We Care: The Helping Hands" and the City of Bridgetown Credit Union for the the Barbados Primary Schools Initiative. The schools benefiting this year are St. Ambrose, St. Christopher, St. Giles, St. Andrew's Primary, St. Martin's Mangrove, Hillaby Turners Hall, and St. Margaret’s.

Read entire article: Barbados Advocate

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Large Low Pressure System East Of Islands

The large low pressure system 650 miles east of the northern Windward Islands (12.9N 51.2W) is becoming better organised. On its present track, the leading edge of the cloud mass will begin to affect Barbados by this afternoon, with some pockets of moderate to heavy showers, isolated thunderstorms and occasional gusty winds spreading across the island. Indications are that some of this activity will persist into Monday. Residents should remain on the alert, and continue to monitor any further updates.

Airplane Crashes In Guyana

GEORGETOWN -- A Caribbean Airlines plane with 140 passengers aboard crashed while landing in Guyana early today and broke in two, causing several injuries but no deaths, said President Bharrat Jagdeo.

The plane apparently overshot the 400-foot (123-metre) runway at Cheddi Jagan International Airport in rainy weather. It barely missed a 200-foot (61-meter) ravine that could have resulted in dozens of fatalities, he said.

"We are very, very grateful that more people were not injured," he said as authorities closed the airport, leaving hundreds of passengers stranded and delaying dozens of flights.

Authorities struggled to remove passengers without adequate field lights and other emergency equipment. The extent of the injuries was not immediately clear.

The plane had left New York and made a stop in Trinidad before landing in Guyana. No further details were immediately available.

The crash of the BW 523 is the worst in recent history in Guyana, and only one of the few serious incidents involving the Trinidad-based airline. It is the single largest carrier in the region, operating at least five daily flights. (AP)


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Life Lessons

Developing responsible citizens aim of fire cadet programme

Fire Officer Fernando McAllister has recommended that the Junior Fire Cadet Programme held at the Arch Hall Fire Station, Arch Hall, St. Thomas not be†interpreted as a casual experience.

In an overview of the programme, McAllister said the aim was to provide good working habits and to build positive attitudes among all members enrolled rather than an experience of leisure.

"It is hoped that each cadet will leave this programme with a better sense of responsibility, and that he or she will be more accountable for his or her actions within the family unit and in the community," McAllister said.

He added that he hoped each participant would have a better idea of where they would fit into society with their future goals by exposing the cadets to the skills of firefighters and the rules fire service employees followed to accomplish success.

"The five-week programme is designed to instill in each participant a sense of character, confidence, self-esteem, and self-discipline... (It) is very thorough and consists of practical and theoretical exercises," McAllister said.

Twenty-five 13- to 15-year-olds participate in varying aspects of training during the summer, including cardiopulmonary resuscitation in emergencies, in addition to techniques for handling and working with nozzles, fire hoses as well as other drills.

He added that the cadets would have educational classes such as fire prevention, fire protection, team building and discipline.

"The classroom is also an important part of the programme. Every classroom and exercise training session is geared towards showing the cadet the importance of teamwork, discipline, goal setting and respect for themselves and the community," McAllister explained. "The cadets will be taught the organisational structure of the Fire Service, what it takes to be a firefighter and the importance of sound education."

Other sessions were based on water safety awareness, hosted by members of the†National Conservation Commission among presentations delivered from various entities such as the Sanitation Service Authority, Environmental Protection Department, and the National Council of Substance Abuse.

"As part of the programme, there will be a one-day hike which will assist the cadets in survival techniques. The camp will consist of three nature walks, and testing the cadets' physical endurance and mental strength," McAllister said.

He noted the students would have to prepare and present a group project on a community or topical issue. (AA/EM)


Thursday, July 14, 2011

Baby Injured In Collision

An 18-month-old baby suffered minor head injuries yesterday when the Transport Board bus she was travelling in was involved in an accident with an Ocean Fisheries truck along St Silas Road, St James, around 9:50 a.m.

Police Constable Reginald Blackman, the investigating officer, confirmed that baby Jania Paul was travelling with her mother, Janelle Paul, when the incident occurred. The baby was taken to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital by ambulance.

Driver of the Ocean Fisheries truck, 27-year-old Shelton Small of Turners Hall, St Andrew, had to be freed from his vehicle by officers of the Barbados Fire Service using the Jaws of Life, after he was pinned in.

He received “slight injuries to the right leg, forehead and left leg”, said Blackman, while the bus driver,

35-year-old Junior Gilkes from Taylor’s Land, Fairfield, Black Rock, St Michael, complained of shoulder injuries. (CT)


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Junior Fire Cadet Programme Gets Underway

For the next five weeks, 25 students will be taking part in the Barbados Fire Service’s Junior Fire Cadet Programme at the Arch Hall Fire Station in St. Thomas.

The programme, sponsored by Roberts Manufacturing Limited and SOL Barbados Limited, is designed to instil in each participant a sense of character, confidence, self-esteem and self-discipline.

Co-ordinator Fernando McAllister acknowledged that the programme will be very thorough, and consists of practical and theoretical exercises.

“The fire cadets will participate in varying aspects of training, such as proper techniques for handling and working with nozzles, fire hoses, and many of the various fittings; and CPR. They will be taught about the organisational structure of the Fire Service, what it takes to become a fire-fighter and the importance of a sound education,” he highlighted.

“Presentations will also be delivered from various entities such as The Sanitation Department, Environmental Protection Departments, and National Council of Substance Abuse.”

In addition, cadets will participate in a one-day hike which will assist in survival techniques, McAllister indicated. “The camp will consist of nature walks and testing the cadets’ physical endurance and mental strength.”

“It is hoped that each cadet will leave this programme with a better sense of responsibility and that he/she will be more accountable for his/her own actions within the family unit and in the community. We also hope that by exposing cadets to the skills of fire-fighters and rules employees must follow to achieve success, he/she will have a better idea where they fit into today’s world with his/her goals,” he expressed. (TL)


Campers See How Firemen Do It

The Arch Hall Fire Station was a hive of activity when 24 campers of the Quality Care Camp visited the St Thomas facility yesterday.

The children had a totally enlightening experience as they got to tour the station and check out the various pieces of equipment used by firefighters.

Fire Officer Carlos Husbands, who conducted the tour, showed the children how to use the Jaws Of Life as well as the fire hose and even gave them an opportunity to sit in a fire truck.

Camp director Sylvia Arthur-Holder said the tour was the first of several planned for the students during the six-week camp.

She explained that in addition to tours and the usual summer activities, the camp, which operates from the St John the Baptist Church, would expose the campers to Bible study and devotions.

“The community is slipping in morals, so we are trying to see if we can do something to assist these youngsters to go on the right path,” Arthur-Holder said. (LK)


Monday, July 11, 2011

Group Coming To Assist Those In Need

As summer begins to sizzle, some New Yorkers and other culture connoisseurs travelling to Barbados, will not only boast of enjoying the myriad experiences offered during the island’s Crop-Over Festival.

A Crop-Over Dutch party, Ladies’ Bikini Cricket, and a children’s event with the Barbados Fire Service will be part of the growing trend to do good, while having fun as the Barbados We Care - The Helping Hands organisation heads to Bim.

The group, started on Facebook in October 2010 by Sue Bowen and Barclay Harris, with the specific aim of lending assistance to Barbadians and other Caribbean children and families in times of disaster and other areas of need, has joined with NYAL Productions of New York, to lead “philanthropists” to the island in late July.

For the inaugural trip, the group has identified seven primary schools (The Primary Schools Initiative) – St. Giles, St. Martin’s/Mangrove, St. Margaret’s, St. Christopher’s, St. Ambrose, St. Andrew’s and Hillaby/Turner’s Hall – in addition to other needy families, who would benefit from the overwhelming number of back-to-school donations and other items, given by individuals, companies, and a Brooklyn middle school, Arthur J Cunningham.

The intent is to start in Barbados, then partner with other like-minded groups and organisations in the US and the Caribbean, to affect tangible impact and advancement in areas including education, health care and financial discipline.

“We feel extremely passionate about giving back and paying forward and in prompting and accentuating ways for individuals and families to create their own success and positive growth – engendering personal connections,” remarked Harris and Bowen.

The response from businesses has been positive and encouraging. Alen and Fiona Ghassomianes, owners of The Bajan Bistro Restaurant in Manhattan, have hosted the group’s events and community outreach efforts, with prizes offered by American Airlines, as well as the Golden Sands Hotel, National Cultural Foundation, Cave Shepherd Department Store, The Plantation Theatre and CariGES for Women, from Barbados.

A recent collaboration with the City of Bridgetown Credit Union and Denis Tull of the Golden Sands Hotel, will further expose children to various aspects of saving and hotel stays with their families.

While in Barbados, there will be “live” broadcasts from Barbados to listeners of 96.5 FM (, hosted by Sue Bowen, Neville Bush and the Caribbean Pepperpot Crew, heard every Saturday morning in the New York area.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Coach Crash

Bath in St John was turned into a mass casualty scene last night after a coach carrying picnickers overturned, injuring more than two dozen people.

Four were rushed to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH), but none of the injuries was believed to be life-threatening.

Well after 10 p.m. ambulances were still speeding to the hilly eastern parish, overtaking many a driver hurrying along to see what had happened. Some of the curious said they were trying to check on whether relatives were among the injured.

Thirty people were travelling in the bus, owned and operated by Johnson Tours. On an island tour, the bus, making Bath its last stop, flipped sending passengers, most of whom were in their 20s and 30s, into a spin.


Saturday, June 11, 2011

Six Injured In Accident

At least six people were injured in a collision between two mini-buses in Shop Hill, St. Thomas.

According to police reports, the accident occurred at 8:15 Friday morning as both vehicles were approaching the area of the Lester Vaughn School.

Most of the injuries were minor but Carol-Ann Whittington of Airy Cot, St. Thomas was taken to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital for treatment.


Friday, June 10, 2011

SAFE At Luther Thorne Primary

Students of the Luther Thorne Memorial Primary School had a fun-filled afternoon yesterday as they participated in the Student Awareness of Fire Education (SAFE) programme.

Members of the Barbados Fire Service (Probyn Street) visited the school and shared valuable information regarding fire safety. (Photo compliments: C Bishop)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

BFSA Assists With Re-Hydration

The Barbados Fire Service Association and the Administration of the Fire Service are collaborating to address the issue of re-hydration of firefighters at major incidents.

This announcement was made during a brief ceremony at Fire Service Headquarters yesterday, as the BFSA presented a cooler to Chief Fire Officer Wilfred Marshall.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Fire & Ice

Firemen averted what could have been a major catastrophe in the City this afternoon when the old ice factory in Mason Hall Street went up in flames. The alarm was raised around 1:43 p.m. that the building which is located in a very densely populated area, was on fire.

Although there was nothing significant inside the old factory and the adjoining building, employees from a nearby cleaning company kept a close eye on the blaze, which belched black smoke that could be seen as far away as Cave Hill, St. Michael.

It was that billowing smoke that prompted MP for the City of Bridgetown, Patrick Todd to visit to the scene. He told the media that he saw the thick smoke from the offices of the Ministry of Housing and Lands at Country Road and was concerned.

"The fire did not spread to neighbouring households. We are very happy that the emergency services were able to respond so quickly to avert a major catastrophe because as you would know this area is very densely populated with the avenues of Chapman Lane and Emmerton Lane to the west and to the east, avenues in the Cat's Castle, Mason Hall Street, Reed Street...

"I know that there is an adjoining business, a cleaning firm, and I'm happy that the fire did not spread significantly to that location in view of any chemicals that might be stored there and the fact that many employees would have been dislocated if the fire had destroyed that location," Todd said.

The Minister of State in the Ministry of Housing also said that a few days ago workmen had removed sheets of asbestos from the roof of the building that has been unoccupied for a number of years.

He noted that the Ministry of Housing and Lands, was planning to construct high rise project on the land that Government had recently acquired from the owners of the cleaning services.

"Negotiations with the current owner and Government are taking place in terms of completing that compulsory acquisition process and I know that the adjoining building which suffered damage by this fire is also a possible location for additional high rise housing solutions so that the Government would be very interested in the future of this land space as it looks to provide housing solutions for working Barbadians in the urban corridor where there is a scarcity of available land," Todd noted.

He also reiterated the need for Barbadians to have good fire prevention and safety habits.

Chief Fire Officer Wilfred Marshall told the media that he and 20 firefighters responded and were able to contain the blaze to that particular section, although it flared up again.

In addition to the four tenders, the ladder truck and water tanker were also used to battle the fire. He told the media that parked cars in the City always posed "a problem but we were able to get in early" and contain it. Scores of residents from nearby as well as onlookers were kept at bay by the police.

Investigations into the cause of the fire are continuing.


Fire At Ice Factory

Fire has broken out at the old Ice Factory and Smithfield Foods Limited building at Mason Hall Street in the city. That fire is currently being fought by three fire tenders from the Barbados Fire Service.

The fire which started just before 1 o’clock this afternoon consumed the partially abandoned building. Scores of onlookers gathered on the scene and some had to assist with the removal of several cars from the environs of the burning building.

One young man from the area said a lot of men from the New Orleans and surrounding districts had to alert the owners of several cars which are usually parked in the area and assist with the removal. Concern was also raised about the potential threat of the fire spreading and affecting the portion of the building which is used as chemical storage for Bajan Cleaning Services.


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Woman Found Dead In Well

A brother's frantic efforts to find his 75-year-old sister last night ended in tragedy.

Henderson Mottley said last night that he visited his sister, Velma Smith, on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, at her No. 24 Durants, Christ Church home.

"I came up my usual time about 6:30 and I would sit down and me and she would sit down and I would finish watch Day of Our Lives wid she. When I first came up I saw the house in darkness, and I was wondering what happened and I said to myself this ain't like her," he recounted.

He said he knocked and called around saying "Sis, sis, sis all the time", but did not hear anything. He then asked one of his sister's close friends if she told her she was going out but she said no.

"I then called [her] cellular phone, I called the house number. I stand up outside on the patio, I called the number and I heard it ring, ring, ring, then it ring off. I said something got to be wrong," he noted.

Mottley said he then checked with a taxi driver who takes her around but he had not seen her either. They returned to her house and together they checked inside the house but their search was in vain.

It was later that Mottley saw "some keys outside" on a wall nearby, he called another man who confirmed what he saw and who noticed that the slab on the well was opened. Police later said there was a body in the well.

The force's Public Relations Officer, Inspector David Welch, told the media in the wee hours of this morning, that Smith was pulled from a 45-foot well in the area by firemen just after midnight.

He said it was about 9:50 p.m. yesterday that family members and friends reported "that she could not be located" to the officers at the Oistins police station.

"Firemen worked tirelessly through the rain to recover the body of Miss Smith," said Welch. Two fire tenders under the command of Divisional Officer Evans Morris, Acting Station Officer Darcy Smith and Acting Station Officer Errol Gaskin attended the incident. (DS)


Sunday, May 29, 2011

Mangrove Still Smouldering

Sanitation officials and fire officers monitored a smouldering landfill at Mangrove, St Thomas today after thousands of tyres went up in smoke, creating headaches for residents downwind.

A joint effort by officials from the public and private sector sought to bring the situation under control after the landfill erupted in flames on Saturday night sending thick toxic smoke billowing towards residential areas down wind, including the plush Sandy Lane estate.

However, it was residents of the nearby Arch Hall district who complained about the smoke, which they said not only inconvenienced them as they prepared their Sunday lunch, but also impacted negatively on people with a variety of health ailments, particularly asthma.

Minister of the Environment Denis Kellman as well as health officials visited the scene earlier today and later this afternoon the Department of Emergency Management will be giving an update on the situation. (ES)


Fighting Fire With Dirt

Eleven fire officers, led by Chief Fire Officer Wilfred Marshall, were this morning deeply involved in a battle to bring a massive blaze at the Mangrove Pond Landfill, under control.

After receiving the call at 7:13 p.m., 11 fire officers in three water tenders and the water tanker from the Arch Hall, St. Thomas station and Probyn Street, City headquarters rushed to the scene to quell the inferno, which involved an estimated two million tyres.

Marshall told the media sometime after midnight that “a lot of tyres” were burning over a wide area but he was optimistic that they would have the blaze under control during the day.

“What we are actually doing at this time is trucking in mould (dirt) and we’re trying to smother the fire. We’re dumping the mould on top of the tyres and bringing it under control,” he said.


Saturday, May 28, 2011

Fire Breaks Out At Mangrove Landfill

Residents living in the environs of the Mangrove landfill, St Thomas are keeping their eyes on a huge fire that broke out at the landfill tonight.

Personnel from the Arch Hall Fire Station responded to the blaze around 7:15.

Officials of the Department of the Emergency Management are on the scene and according to reports have closed off the access road to the landfill.


Sunday, May 22, 2011

Fire Service Team At Torch Run 2011

Above photo: Some members of the Barbados Fire Service team at the conclusion of yesterday's Law Enforcement Torch Run.

We extend our sincere thanks to all those persons who generously supported the Law Enforcement Torch Run yesterday. The funds raised will go a long way towards assisting our Special Olympians as they prepare to travel to Athens, Greece for the Special Olympics World Summer Games 2011. See website:

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Six Hurt In Crash

Six people were injured when a minibus and a lorry collided at Porey Spring, St Thomas, yesterday afternoon.

Police reported that Ian Lowe, the driver of the minibus, which plies the Hillaby route, suffered injury to a foot while five passengers sustained minor injuries. They were all taken to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital by ambulance.

Ian Absalom, the driver of the lorry, was unhurt. Police from the District “D” Station are investigating. Here, police officers taking measurements at the scene. (MB)


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Family Of Three Homeless

A fire that occurred in the early hours last Sunday morning has left a family of three in the north homeless.

Leman King, his wife Rhonda and their daughter Sandra Scantlebury, all of Mile-and-a-Quarter, St Peter, were all at home when the blaze started.

King received burns to the hands and face while Scantlebury also received burns to the face.

The injured were taken to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital by ambulance for medical attention and were later discharged.

Two fire tenders responded to the fire which presented a challenge because of the narrow roads. (RL)


Visitor Hurt In Accident

A 35-year-old American visitor was seriously injured after the scooter he was riding and a Transport Board bus collided at Rockley, Christ Church, yesterday afternoon.

Police officers of the Traffic Department said Kent Bailey, who hails from California, had life-threatening injuries.

He was riding a hired motorbike that was involved with a cross-country bus that left Silver Sands bound for Wanstead.

The bus was driven by Paul Maitland of Martinique Road, My Lord’s Hill, St Michael. The police are probing the incident, which took place about 4:30 p.m. (MK)


Friday, May 13, 2011

Home Lost To Fire

A family of four are homeless after a fire completely destroyed their wall residence in Welches, Christ Church, in the wee hours of this morning.

Rodney Hall and his wife Carol are counting their losses after a fire swept through their house, located near Super Centre complex, just after 3 a.m. The couple lived in the three-bedroom dwelling with their two sons.

Fire officers did not enter the blazing house because of the health danger posed by the asbestos roof.

No one was injured, but little was saved from the building.

Three Barbados Fire Service tenders from the headquarters at Probyn Street and Worthing under the command of Station Officer Darcy Smith responded to the fire. Both fire officials and the police are conducting investigations.

Above, the rear view of the house which was destroyed by fire today. According to police, the residents were able to escape through the front of the building. (MK)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Three Die In Crashes

Mother's Day celebrations ended on a sad note, with three men tragically losing their lives in two separate road accidents.

Just before midnight Sunday, two friends who lived opposite each other at Rosemont, Deacons, St Michael, died on the spot when the motorcycle they were riding slammed into a tree at Deacons Farm Road, St Michael.

Dead are Samuel Anderson Williams, 21, and pillion rider Jamal Jeffrey Johnson, 20.

Almost seven hours later, 44-year-old Anthony Lavere Walcott, of Lemon Arbor Village, St John, died on the spot in a four-vehicle accident along the ABC Highway, just opposite the playing field of Deighton Griffith Secondary School.

Walcott was the passenger in a truck driven by work colleague Everton Dottin.

The motorcycle tragedy hit the close-knit Rosemont community hard as some family members and close friends could be heard wailing as news of the two young men’s death spread.

Raising her hands to the heavens, Williams’ mother Deborah Williams spoke of hearing her son for the final time mere hours before he met his death.

“He was going through the door and he looked back and said, ‘Mum, I love you’,” she recalled with tears flowing down her cheeks.

Williams’ father Samuel Goodman, of Fairfield Road, St Michael, spoke of how he and his son were at his home listening to music less than 20 minutes before the fatal accident.

“I can’t believe it, but soon afterwards I got a telephone call telling me that Sammy just get killed,” Goodman said, nodding his head in disbelief.

Sammy was the only child of his parents.

At Johnson’s home, mother Angela Bascombe was overcome with grief. Her last memory of her son was of him valeting the family car on Sunday.

“He was changing the oil and cleaning it up and even said to me, ‘Mum, we have to put some good gas in the car’,” she remembered.

After her son left home, Bascombe went to bed but was awakened later by the distressing phone call from her son’s best friend John Wood.

“I answered the phone and John told me that Jamal got killed on the motorcycle,” she said.

Police, who are carrying out investigations, said they had not recovered the motorcycle from Sunday night’s fatal accident.

There have now been eight road deaths so far this year.


Monday, May 9, 2011

Barbados Records Another Fatality

A road fatality this morning on the ABC Highway has claimed the life of Anthony Walcott, 45, of Lemon Arbor , St John.

Police public relations officer Inspector David Welch confirmed that Walcott was a passenger in one of the trucks involved in the accident, which took place between the Edwy Talma roundabout at Kendal Hill and the junction at the Deighton Griffith School in Christ Church.

The accident, he said, involved two trucks and two cars.

Welch said Walcott died on the spot. He also reported that a juvenile was involved in the accident but there was no life threatening injury.

In a separate accident last night in Deacons Road, St Michael, two young men lost their lives.

Samuel "Andy" Williams, 31, and Jamaal Johnson, 20, both of Rosemont, Deacons Road, St Michael died in the accident which occurred around 11:30 p.m.


Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials, heavy and sudden, fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends who rejoice with us in our sunshine, desert us when troubles thicken around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts. ~ Washington Irving

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Law Enforcement Torch Run 2011

The Law Enforcement Torch Run Campaign to benefit the Special Olympics began in 1981 in Wichita Kansas and is the largest grass-roots fundraising movement for the Special Olympics.

The Law Enforcement Torch Run, or LETR as it is commonly abbreviated, is run by Police Officers, Sheriff's Deputies, support staff, police volunteers and other law enforcement professionals from around the world.

Currently, close to 90,000 police professionals in over 35 countries participate in this worldwide effort to raise money and awareness for Special Olympics.

While carrying the flame, officers and athletes are referred to as "Guardians of the Flame". In the broader sense, the LETR is used to define all of the special events, and fundraising activities that law enforcement conducts to contribute to this campaign.

For more information contact:

Superintendent Robinson
Tel: (246) 430-7660
Human Resource Department
Royal Barbados Police Force

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

International Fire Fighters Day - May 4, 2011

In recognition of the sacrifices made in countries all over the globe, International Fire Fighters’ Day – IFFD – was inaugurated on 4th May 1999. Since then it has been held annually, to mark a time when Firefighters of the present and past are remembered, recognised and thanked for their dedication in saving lives and protecting property.

"The role of a firefighter in today's society - be it urban, rural, natural environment, volunteer, career, industrial, defence force, aviation, motor sport, or other is one of dedication, commitment and sacrifice - no matter what country we reside and work in. In the fire service we fight together against one common enemy - fire - no matter what country we come from, what uniform we wear or what language we speak."

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

Lt JJ Edmondson

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Transport Board Buses Collide

A motor vehicle accident occurred this morning at Holders Hill, St. James involving two Transport Board buses. No information is available at this time regarding possible injuries. However, as persistent light to moderate showers continue across the island, we encourage motorist to be vigilant and exercise caution on our highways. Residents in flood-prone areas should also monitor current conditions... be safe folks.

Friday, April 22, 2011

New 3000 Gallon Water Tanker

Another look at the new 3000 gallon water tanker (T1) acquired by the Barbados Fire Service in February from Angloco Limited, UK. (e-Report photo by T Griffith)