Thursday, February 24, 2011

Alarm Over Nuisance & Hoax Calls

Nuisance and hoax calls have firefighters extremely agitated at the Arch Hall Fire Station in St. Thomas. Since the temporary closure and relocation of Fire Service Headquarters a number of unscrupulous persons have made it an almost daily routine to call the emergency 311 lines and report hoax calls.

A number of fictitious reports have been logged regarding fires in the area of Foursquare, St. Philip. The culprits seem to take great joy in seeing the fire tenders respond to the environs of Foursquare. Malicious calls made to the Emergency Services are generally problematic mostly during the periods when schools are on vacation.

However, this new trend is indeed a troubling one for firefighters. The perpetrators are causing valuable resources to be engaged at times when other members of the community are desperately in need of such services.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Operation Escape Launched

The Fire Prevention and Community Relations Unit of the Barbados Fire Service has embarked on a new initiative called Operation Escape Bridgetown.

Today at the launch of the Guidelines To Fire And Emergency Procedures manual, Chief Fire Officer Wilfred Marshall explained that the new programme, scheduled to get under way shortly, aimed to sensitize Barbadians on the threats in the City area and give advice on how to take proactive steps to mitigate those threats.

Marshall stated that the layout of businesses, especially stores, with items located “all over the place”, leaving no space for quick movement, was one of the key areas that would be addressed, along with issues related to the prevention of electrical fires.

Following meetings with business owners to expose them to the programme, the Fire Service will formally move into individual business places to present hour-long lectures and demonstrations and assess the workplace design to ensure there are proper exits. Businesses will also be briefed on better layout.

The Fire Prevention Unit has also partnered with business entities to assist the most at risk groups through the Urban Community Risk Reduction Programme and the Fighting Fire With Fire Protection (FFF) Programme. Last year between October and December 32 households in the densely populated New Orleans community on the outskirts of The City benefited from the FFF when they were outfitted with smoke alarms, fire extinguishers, garden hoses and first aid kits for the purpose of reducing their risk and improving their fire safety and protection knowledge.

Marshall said the Fire Service would be back in the area next week to distribute fire safety equipment. He also disclosed that plans were afoot to expand the programme to other critical areas.

Marshall also called for a change in behaviour and attitudes toward fire prevention and safety.


Emergency Guide Launched

Barbadians now have access to a pocket-sized document that provides clear instructions on what to do in case of an emergency.

Thursday morning Regional Management Services Incorporated launched a manual called Guidelines to Fire and Emergency Procedures at the 3W's Oval in Cave Hill.

Guidelines to Fire and Emergency Procedures is the brain child of trade unionist Dennis Depeiza. With fire and the increasing threat of earthquakes, Mr. Depezia says every effort must be made to guard against potential hazards and risks at home and at the workplace.

Chief Fire Officer, Wilfred Marshall says aside from the environmental impact of fires in Barbados, there is also the emotional cost, and wants the fire safety code to be passed into law.

The constituency councils will be distributing the manual in communities across Barbados. Director, Kirk Humphrey says the community level is where disasters are mainly felt.

Chairman of the CTUSAB safety and health committee, Orlando Gabby Scott says the recent spate of natural disasters in the region has reaffirmed the importance of the manual.


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Congratulations To Tricia & Ann-Marie

Congratulations to Ms. Tricia Wilson on winning the Valentine's Day Gift Basket Giveaway. A consolation prize will also be awarded to Ms. Ann-Marie Burke for her submission (second place). We wish to thank the Management and Staff of Melwani's Store for their kind support and participation in our contest.

Above photo: Prem Melwani, Managing Director Melwani's Store, Tricia Wilson, Vera Wilkinson, Administrative Assistant Bajan Fire Fighters' Network and Glyne Alleyne, Administrative Coordinator, Bajan Fire Fighters' Network.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

15 Athletes Hurt In Crash

Fifteen athletes from Springer Memorial School escaped serious injury this afternoon when the van they were travelling in was involved in an accident at the junction of Station Hill and Leincester Road in St Michael. The accident occurred around 2:15 p.m.

Five students were taken to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital while the other ten were taken to the Winston Scott Polyclinic. The students were also assessed on the scene by two medical doctors.

Dozens of onlookers flocked to the scene, where emergency personnel were busy getting the situation under control.


Ready To Rescue

A wide range of “new state-of-the-art” firefighting and rescue equipment was the centre of attention at the Grantley Adams International Airport Fire Station yesterday.

The equipment was acquired through a collaborative project between Angloco Limited and the Barbados Fire Service. Angloco is a British company that manufactures firefighting and rescue vehicles and equipment.

The demonstration was viewed by 19 fire officers from nine Caribbean fire services. Barbados’ Chief Fire Officer Wilfred Marshall noted that while the demonstration was an “opportunistic” event for all the fire services represented, the link between Angloco and the Barbados Fire Service was formed in the early 1990s.

Marshall stated that Angloco had not only supplied custom-built vehicles for Barbados, but had been the conduit through which the service obtained replacement parts, vehicular maintenance service, technical training and advice and a guaranteed after-sales service that was second to none.

“The administration of the Fire Service and the Government of Barbados have taken responsibility to ensure that the service is not deficient in areas such as continuous relevant training and skills development, modern and functional equipment, a safe working environment and hassle-free Fire Service operations.

“This Fire Service also boasts of a fleet of vehicles renowned for minimal down time, high working performance and sound mechanical functionality.

There is where Angloco Limited comes into the picture,” said Marshall. Angloco’s sales and marketing director Alistair Brown told the DAILY NATION that the equipment on display was mainly for the rescuing of trapped individuals.

“If you have a bad car crash and you need to be taken out of the car before the doctor can treat you, the tools here today can safely get you out of the car. If there is an earthquake or a cave-in and a building collapse, the tools we are showing can support the collapsed building and help the Fire Service to safely go in and extricate the person,” he said, adding that “there is also a special camera that can go through the rubble, [and] also a very sensitive microphone that can hear the breathing of an unconscious person.”


Water Challenges Eased

The Barbados Fire Service has acquired a water tanker capable of carrying 3 000 gallons. The tanker was purchased for $715 972 from British company Angloco, which designs, manufactures and distributes firefighting and rescue equipment.

It was officially handed over at the Grantley Adams International Airport. Chief Fire Officer Wilfred Marshall said the new tanker, the "first of its kind on the island", would be stationed at the service's Bridgetown headquarters and used in the event of a major fire "where we have problems accessing water".

"Before the acquisition of this vehicle, whenever we had major fires we would have to call the Barbados Water Authority to assist us... so this is the vehicle that will help us within the early hours of the fire [as] we now have 3 000 gallons of water. Our [present] water tankers carry 600 gallons and this 3 000 gallons is [the equivalent of] five water tenders immediately on scene," Marshall explained.

British High Commissioner Paul Brummell said the High Commission was delighted to be involved in the presentation of the tanker.

Source: Daily Nation Newspaper, Thursday, February 10, 2011

Fire Officers Impressed

For any fire officer, walking into the newly built Airport Fire Station today could have been akin to nirvana.

Stretched out on display were several pieces of machinery that could turn any fire station into a state-of-the-art, perfectly equipped facility, capable of both fighting fires and the increasingly important search and rescue element.

The display and accompanying demonstration of equipment from UK-based company Angloco Ltd, was facilitated by the Barbados Fire Service, which has a relationship with the company dating back close to 20 years.

Fire chief Wilfred Marshall remarked that the display was indeed impressive and the local service was already looking at pieces to add to its own armory.

"There is always a special thrill that flows through the veins of all firefighters when they come into contact with new or improved equipment. There is always that voice in your head saying, 'I would like to add that piece of equipment to my armory'," he said.

But it wasn't a demo for local fire officials alone, for regional counterparts from Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines were on hand to witness and get the chance to handle the equipment.

Product manager Geoff Howard went through a detailed explanation of each piece of equipment, which ranged from safety head gear, to nozzles, cutting, spreading and stabilisation tools, hydrolic lifting equipment, ladders, high powered saws that can cut through concrete and other structures and search and listening equipment.

After the outline of the new pieces and upgrades to existing equipment, fire officers were taken into the field to observe and in some respects practice their skills and the efficiency of the equipment on display.

They witnessed firsthand as the Angloco team simulated rescues using the cutting and spreading tools and also demonstrated the performance of a new water tanker purchased by the local fire service. (LB)


Sunday, February 6, 2011

Do Not Venture Into The Sea This Week

Residents of Barbados are asked to note that a High Surf Advisory will be in effect for Barbados from 12:00 noon today Sunday, February 6, 2011 until Friday, February 11, 2011.

Strong surface winds of twenty to twenty-five knots (20 to 25kts) will generate large easterly swells over the Tropical Atlantic. A deterioration in sea conditions is expected late Sunday when swells are expected to peak near 4.0meters (13ft). Forecast models are indicating that these conditions will persist until Friday 11th February. Hence a Small Craft Warning will be in effect from Saturday 5th February and a High Surf Advisory will be in effect from Sunday 6th February until Friday 11th February.

A High-Surf Advisory means that seas will generate very large breaking waves and dangerous rip currents mainly along northeastern, eastern and southeastern coastal waters of Barbados. All users of these coastal areas are advised to be vigilant for large breaking waves surging onto the shore and should stay clear of the beaches wherever possible.

A Small-craft Warning means that seas greater than 3m (9ft) and/or wind-speeds greater than 25 knots (47kmh or 30 mph) are producing hazardous marine conditions. Small-craft should avoid navigating in these hazardous marine conditions.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Valentine's Day Giveaway

In honour of Valentine's Day we have decided to partner with Melwani's Store to giveaway one gift basket to a lucky member of our Facebook page. All you have to do is write a few lines describing what you love most about the Fire Service/Fighters, and email it to us at

PLEASE NOTE: Firefighters are not eligible to participate in this contest. The deadline for submissions is 12:00 noon on Sunday, February 13, 2011. This contest is being conducted by the Bajan Fire Fighters Network and not the Barbados Fire Service. This contest should not be viewed as an endorsement of any product or company by the Barbados Fire Service. (Only residents of Barbados are eligible to participate)