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)

A Blessed Good Friday To You

Have A Blessed Good Friday

"We may say that on the first Good Friday afternoon was completed that great act by which light conquered darkness and goodness conquered sin. That is the wonder of our Saviour's crucifixion." - Phillips Brooks

Tragic Thursday

Tragedy has struck the home of a St George family, claiming two lives, including that of a three-month-old baby.

The accident, which occurred along Lower Estate, St Michael, just after 7:30 last night, put a pall over yesterday’s Holy Thursday activities and cast a cloud of despair over today’s Good Friday commemoration.

Dead are Akelia Mayers, 17, and three-month-old Shaquan Crichlow.

Two relatives, who were also passengers in the bronze ZM van driven by Troy “Shabba” Clinton of Brereton Village, St Philip, were also injured during the collision with a parked trailer.

Further details in today's Daily Nation.

Source: www.nationnews.com

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Bajan Fire Fighters' Blog Earns Featured Status

The Bajan Fire Fighters' Blog has achieved 'Featured Status' on FireRescue1.com. The designation symbolizes the value of our interesting content and usefulness to the over 175,000 members of FireRescue1.com.

About FireRescue1.Com

FireRescue1's mission is to provide firefighters with the information and resources that make them better able to protect their communities and stay safer on the job. FireRescue1 is changing the way in which the fire service finds relevant news, watches online video, locates important training information, interacts with each other and researches product purchases. It is becoming the most comprehensive and trusted online destination for industry personnel and aspiring professionals alike.

Between FireRescue1.com, our best-in-class eNewsletters and our extended network of firefighting microsites, FireRescue1 reaches deeply and broadly into the fire service. With more than 175,000 registered FireRescue1 members, our membership is balanced geographically as well as functionally across all ranks and divisions.

FireRescue1 features the most current news and analysis from some of the top experts in the fire service. Visit our Columnist directory for bios and contact information for FireRescue1's columnists.

BFS Acquires New Airport Fire & Rescue Tender

The Barbados Fire Service has acquired a new Rosenbauer - Panther, Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting (ARFF) vehicle. The new appliance will join the existing fleet of crash tenders at the Airport Fire Station and improve the departments ability to respond to aerodrome emergencies at the Grantley Adams International Airport.

The vehicle which was acquired from Angloco Limited in the United Kingdom was manufactured by Rosenbauer. The Barbados Fire Service already owns three Panther 6X6 trucks, however, this new tender (a snozzle) is slightly different from the others. The snozzle comes with an articulating boom, piercing nozzle and a infrared camera (FLIR) with pan and tilt capabilities mounted for low light conditions.

The tender was delivered to the Airport Fire Station on March 11, 2011 and possesses enhanced firefighting capabilities.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Scan Our QR Barcode To Visit Our Network

You can now use your phone to scan our QR code to visit our social network. Just scan our unique QR barcode above to learn more about the many social platforms utilized by the Bajan Fire Fighters' Network.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Barbados Fire Service Relocation

After three months of renovation, the Barbados Fire Service's operations section and Administrative office returned to Fire Service Headquarters, Probyn Street, Bridgetown on Saturday.

The Operations Section was temporarily housed at Station Hill, while the Administrative Offices were relocated to the 5th Floor, National Insurance Building, Fairchild Street.

The Administrative office resumed normal operations with effect from this morning, all telephone numbers remain unchanged.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Northern Residents Trapped By Flood Waters

Personnel from the Northern Division of the Barbados Fire Service were mobilized from around 0051 hrs this morning to assist several persons who found themselves trapped by flood waters caused as a result of persistent rain.

Firefighters responded to Mile and A Quarter, St. Peter where an elderly lady had to be rescued from her home and taken to safety. Personnel also responded to reports of persons trapped at Rose Hill, Gills Terrace and Queens Street, Speightstown in St. Peter.

One fire tender and its crew also became a casualty of the deluge after they encountered gushing water while responding to a report of persons trapped in a vehicle at Colleton, St. Lucy. After a very hectic night, firefighters were still actively engaged in rescue operations today as requests for assistance were coming into the Control Room from residents at Maycocks and Checker Hall in St. Lucy.

Above photo: Flood waters in Speightstown, St. Peter early this morning. (e-Report photo by Ghost TattooZ)

Monday, April 11, 2011

Hurricane Forecasters Predict Very Active Atlantic Season

The Atlantic hurricane season unofficially starts on June 1 and if forecasters at Colorado State University are correct, it will be a very active season. The team predicts activity to be at 175 percent of normal, a level sure to cause concern among residents in the western Atlantic.

The 2010 hurricane season was a busy one and saw the third most named s... but mercifully, none made landfall in the United States. For the 2011 season the CSU team expects things to be slightly calmer but still far above normal.

CSU forecasters are calling for 16 named storms during the 2011 Atlantic hurricane season. Of those they expect nine will become hurricanes and five of those will be major hurricanes (Category 3 or higher).

These estimates far exceed the historical 1950 to 2000 average. During that period the Atlantic averaged 9.6 named storms per year, 5.9 hurricanes and 2.3 major hurricanes.

The team warned that whether a hurricane forecast calls for above or below normal activity, residents should always be equally prepared. Dr. Phil Klotzbach said, “It takes only one landfall event near you to make this an active season.”

Breaking down the team’s analysis further, they gave a 72 percent chance that at least one major hurricane will make landfall along the U.S. coastline. By comparison, the long-term average probability is 52 percent.

By region CSU forecasters put a 48% chance on the probability that a major hurricane will strike the East Coast. Nearly matching that they said there was a 47% probably a major hurricane would hit on the U.S. Gulf Coast.

Dr. William Gray noted that overall the Atlantic Basin is primed for significant hurricane activity. He said that since 1999, only the 2004 and 2005 seasons saw a major hurricane make landfall in the U.S. and this scenario is not likely to continue. Gray warns, "This recent 9 of 11-year period without any major landfall events should not be expected to continue.”

From Colorado State University:

CSU RESEARCH TEAM
EXTENDED RANGE ATLANTIC BASIN HURRICANE FORECAST FOR 2011
-Released April 6, 2011-
Tropical Cyclone Parameters Extended Range
(1950-2000) Climatological Averages Forecast for 2011
in parentheses)
Named Storms (9.6)* 16
Named Storm Days (49.1) 80
Hurricanes (5.9) 9
Hurricane Days (24.5) 35
Major Hurricanes (2.3) 5
Major Hurricane Days (5.0) 10
Accumulated Cyclone Energy (96) 160
Net Tropical Cyclone Activity (100%) 175
* Numbers in ( ) represent average year totals based on 1950-2000 data.

Huge Asteroid To Pass Near Earth In November

Mark your calendars for an impressive and upcoming flyby of an asteroid that’s one of the larger potentially perilous space rocks in the heavens – in terms of smacking the Earth in the future.

It’s the case of asteroid 2005 YU55, a round mini-world that is about 1,300 feet (400 meters) in diameter. In early November, this asteroid will approach Earth within a scant 0.85 lunar distances.

Due the object’s size and whisking by so close to Earth, an extensive campaign of radar, visual and infrared observations are being planned.

Asteroid 2005 YU55 was discovered by Spacewatch at the University of Arizona, Tucson’s Lunar and Planetary Laboratory on Dec. 28, 2005. En route and headed our way, the cosmic wanderer is another reminder about life here on our sitting duck of a planet.

Close and big

“The close Earth approach of 2005 YU55 on Nov. 8, is unusual since it is close and big. On average, one wouldn’t expect an object this big to pass this close but every 30 years,” said Don Yeomans, manager of NASA’s Near-Earth Object Program Office and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.

Yeomans said that with new radar capabilities at Goldstone in California — part of NASA’s Deep Space Network — there is a good chance of obtaining radar imaging of 2005 YU55 down to the 5-meter resolution level. Doing so, he said, would mean obtaining higher spatial resolution of the object than that attained by recent spacecraft flyby missions.

“So we like to think of this opportunity as a close flyby mission with Earth as the spacecraft,” Yeomans told SPACE.com. “When combined with ground-based optical and near-infrared observations, the radar data should provide a fairly complete picture of one of the larger potentially hazardous asteroids,” he said.

Asteroid 2005 YU55 is a slow rotator. Because of its size and proximity to Earth, the Minor Planet Center in Cambridge, Mass., has designated the space rock as a “potentially hazardous asteroid.”

Dishing it out

“We’re already preparing for the 2005 YU55 flyby,” said Lance Benner, a research scientist at JPL and a specialist on radar imaging of near-Earth objects. He said part of the plan is to observe the asteroid with radar using both the huge Arecibo dish in Puerto Rico and equipment at Goldstone.

“The asteroid will approach from the south, so Goldstone has the first chance to observe it due to its declination coverage,” Benner told SPACE.com.

To help coordinate the observing campaigns, “Radar Observations Planning” websites have been set up for this unusual occasion, Benner said.

“This flyby will be the closest by any near-Earth asteroid with an absolute magnitude this bright since 1976 and until 2028,” Benner added. “Having said that, nobody saw 2010 XC15 during its close flyby within 0.5 lunar distance in 1976,” he said, noting that this asteroid wasn’t discovered until late in 2010.

“Thus, the flyby by 2005 YU55 will be the closest actually observed by something this large, so it represents a unique opportunity,” Benner said. “In a real sense, this will provide imaging resolution comparable to or even better than a spacecraft mission flyby.”

Radar paint

Benner said that because the asteroid is zooming by Earth so very close, radar echoes will be extremely strong. One facility at Goldstone will be used to transmit and “radar paint” the object…another Goldstone dish is on tap to snag the reflected echo of radar data.

What can radar do?

Information collected by this technique, for example, can be transformed into 3-D shapes, with surface features and spin rates identified. The asteroid’s roughness and density can also be assessed. Furthermore, radar can improve the whereabouts of the object. By greatly shrinking uncertainties for newly discovered meandering NEOs, that in turn enables motion prediction for decades to centuries.

As for seeing the asteroid with small telescopes, start getting your gear ready.

Initially, the object will be too close to the sun and too faint for optical observers. But late in the day (Universal Time) on Nov. 8, the solar elongation will grow sufficiently to see it. Early on Nov. 9, the asteroid could reach about 11th magnitude for several hours before it fades as its distance rapidly increases, Benner explained.

Source: www.space.com

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Aiming To Reduce Fire Calls

President of the General Insurance Association of Barbados, Michael Holder, has again appealed to householders and business owners to insure their properties and contents.

"Certainly as part of risk management not only is fire prevention critical, but we also want to let persons know that the transfer of risk by insurance, that is also key and important. So not only should persons be aware of fire safety measures, both employers and employees, but as well as having adequate insurance in place," he said before presenting two photocopiers to the Barbados Fire Service this week at the Worthing Fire Station.

The president stated that the GIAB was happy to be associated with the service in the Operation Escape Bridgetown initiative.

Project critical

"When I think about the project, Operation Escape Bridgetown, we see the initiative as safeguarding lives and property as very critical and we're hoping that the copiers will assist in the fire service in reaching that objective," Holder added.

Chief Fire Officer, Wilfred Marshall, thanked the association for its generosity and continued support, noting that GIAB donated a thousand-gallon to the service in the past.

"Once again they have come to our rescue and assisted us by providing us with the copiers. We're just about to move ahead with our Operation Escape Bridgetown programme and along with the Bridgetown Fighting Fire with Fire Protection, we're going to be generating a lot of fire prevention material for the general public," he said.

The objective of that operation is to increase the awareness of Barbadians of the threats in the City area and provide advice on how to lessen them. Marshall noted that the presentation came "at a good time of year" when they were "very focussed on the number of fires we're having".

"Now it is reaching that peak in the dry season. Over the last couple of days we're being pushed to the extreme. It is always a challenge to our Fire Prevention Unit to have the number of fire calls reduced annually so the challenge is there now to get out to the people of Barbados to ensure that we have at the end of the year a significant reduction in fire calls as well. The presentation is timely as we seek to get out the information," Marshall added.

GIAB's vice president Anton Lovell, Acting Deputy Chief Fire Officer, Lloydson Phillips, were among the persons attending the presentation. (DS)

Source: news.barbadostoday.bb

Fire Destroys Building At Almond Beach Village

An early morning fire on the premises of Almond Beach Village in Speightstown, St. Peter completely destroyed the staff quarters at the beach resort yesterday.

The Barbados Fire Service was alerted to the fire just before 4 a.m. When firefighters arrived on the scene, the building was found to be fully engulfed in flames. Three fire tenders under the command of acting Deputy Chief Fire Officer Lloydson Phillips and Station Officer Ormond Fenty responded to the blaze.

Suspected Gas Leak Affects Barbados Airport

The origin of a strong gas odor that forced hundreds of passengers and most of the staff at the Grantley Adams International Airport to be evacuated from the building has still not been determined.

Even after the airport’s management, officials from the Barbados Fire Service, the National Petroleum Corporation and the Department of Emergency Management did checks throughout the building, the source could not be found and investigations are therefore continuing.

The incident occurred yesterday about 3:30 pm when it was reported that there was a strong smell of gas in the arrival and departure areas.

Some people reported feeling chest pains and shortness of brief and had to be taken to hospital.

Passengers and staff were instructed to assemble in the airport’s car park, as the area was cordoned off and an assessment of the situation was conducted. Security personnel, however, remained at their stations, according to the airport’s Corporate Communications Specialist Keith Goddard.

Goddard said the airport had an evacuation plan, but said there had been no need to use it.

“The Barbados Fire Service had not declared that the airport was unsafe to operate and therefore there was no official evacuation,” he said.

About two and a half hours after the suspected leak was reported, the all-clear was given and passengers and staff went back into the airport.

Source: www.caribbean360.com

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Busy Day For Our Firemen

Firemen had a very busy day yesterday across Barbados as they dealt with a number of grass, rubbish and cane fires.

Fire officers said they had to respond to fires from early in the morning until late afternoon.

One of the earliest was a grass fire in The Pine Basin, St Michael, where four officers using one tender employed their ingenuity to control that blaze.

In the evening the firemen were in the nearby Wildey area where they successfully contained a house fire.

A National Housing Corporation flat at No. 4 Block E, Bottom Close, occupied by Matthew Blackett, 34, his wife Paulette and their 14-month-old child was extensively damaged.

Quick action by residents and fire officers restricted the fire to the upstairs section of the apartment unit and the contents there while the couple saved some of the furnishings downstairs.

NHC warden for the area, Ainslie Barnett, said: “The firewalls are working; none of the houses on the other side of the damaged unit was seriously affected.”

Source: www.nationnews.com

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Team Atlantic Dash 2011

On the 4th December 2011, Firefighters John Haskell and Kevin Dite (South Wales Fire & Rescue Service) will begin one of the world’s toughest rowing challenges, and row across the Atlantic Ocean unsupported in order to raise money and awareness for The FireFighter Charity, Help For Heroes, and Breast Cancer Care.

This 3000 mile rowing challenge will see them pushed to intolerable levels of physical and mental endurance as they cross the atlantic in the Woodvale Ocean Challenge before reaching the island of Barbados. The firefighters are going to be making an official visit to the headquarters of the Barbados Fire Service where a special plaque will be presented to Chief Fire Officer Wilfred Marshall.

See the official site here: Altantic Dash 2011