Saturday, April 28, 2012

Grass Fires Alarm

Barbados has recorded almost double the number of grass fires this year than during the same period last year. In a telephone interview on Wednesday, Acting Chief Fire Officer Errol Maynard reported that, up to Tuesday, the Barbados Fire Service had responded to 587 grass fires compared to 310 in 2011.

 He said a large number of fires had been recorded in St Philip, speculating the reason was the parish’s wide grassy areas, but stopped short of blaming arson. “There are varying causes; we cannot say people are deliberately lighting fires as it could be fires that got out of control. It is the dry season, so once you burn anything, the possibility of it getting out of control is real,” he said.


Monday, April 23, 2012

Rescued From Burning Boat

Two good samaritans from St Maarten rescued eight Barbadians near a burning boat off the West Coast of Barbados yesterday afternoon.

Chef Vanessa Bruc said they had been travelling for four days and were tired when they saw yellow smoke. She said they did not see anyone aboard the burning yacht.

“We looked further around and we saw a dingy with eight people on it, pretty packed. So we came for them and we rescued them,” she said, adding that the stranded eight were happy to see her and the captain of Blue Passion.

Blue Passion captain Gregg Langridge said the dingy was leaking air and taking in water when they got to it. Langridge said they picked the men up and took them to Port St Charles where they were docking. The eight were aboard the yacht Big Deal, which is owned by Sidney Brooker of Frere Pilgrim, Christ Church.

The yacht was destroyed in the blaze. A team from the Barbados Coast Guard responded but by the time they got to the site, the eight were already aboard the Blue Passion.


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Police Concern Over Accidents

Several accidents occurred on Barbados’ roads yesterday, keeping Royal Barbados Police Force (RBPF) personnel busy throughout the day. During the Morning Traffic Report on VOB 92.9 FM, personnel from the RBPF’s Operations Control reported 11 accidents during the morning and urged road users to exercise extreme care.

In an accident, which occurred after 9 a.m. about halfway between the Henry Forde Roundabout and the Deighton Griffith School, 52-year-old Terry Clarke of Inchscape, Christ Church, and 50-year-old Herbert Cumberbatch of Rendezvous in the same parish suffered various injuries. Both vehicles were extensively damaged, with Clarke and his wife Virginia waiting for over 25 minutes in their wrecked vehicle for the arrival of ambulance personnel.

Virginia was driving a Ford Focus car, which was heading towards The City. The Clarkes’ children, Regina and Division 1 cricketer Marquez, were at the accident scene. The driver of the other vehicle, 39-year-old Wendell Alkins, appeared unhurt, but Cumberbatch, who was travelling in the tray of a Nissan van, complained of neck and back pains. Meanwhile, reports indicate that along Husbands Road, St Michael, two cars were damaged in a collision and over at Bush Hall, St Michael, a truck and car were involved in an accident, with the car being extensively damaged. Police Inspector David Welch told the Daily Nation:

“We are concerned about the number of accidents that are occurring on our roads. In the south alone a total of six accidents were reported yesterday and the Royal Barbados Police Force is appealing to all road users to cooperate with other road users and practise defensive driving on our island’s roads.” Up to Press time, Welch could not confirm the number of accidents that occurred yesterday on the roads. (KB/RL)

Rains Give Firefighters Respite From Fires

Yesterday's persistent rainfall gave fire officers a well deserved respite after the upsurge in grass and cane fires experienced during the last few weeks. Fire officers have responded to as many as 15 to 20 fires per day.

We wish to extend our heartfelt thanks to those individuals who have rendered invaluable assistance to the Fire Service during the past few weeks. The recent increase in grass fires across the island has stretched the resources of the department on several occasions.

However, we remain committed to the task of protecting the lives, property and environment of those who live, work, visit or invest in Barbados.

(Photo) Fire officers being assisted by Mr. Jerry Pile with his Range Rover at a recent grass fire.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Bus Ablaze

It was a close shave for a St Thomas man yesterday when the vehicle he was driving became ablaze. Dale Bradshaw, 41, of Redman’s Village, was travelling along Fitts Village, St James, towards Bridgetown when the minibus B44 caught fire around 12:30 p.m.

Bradshaw, who was alone, escaped unhurt, but the vehicle was destroyed. Three fire officers and one fire tender from the Arch Hall Fire Station responded. Investigations are continuing. Here, firemen making sure all is well after the earlier flames.



The Barbados Fire Service has raised an alarm about Government’s first four-storey high-rise housing complex at Country Park Towers, Country Road, St Michael.

 Chief Fire Officer Wilfred Marshall, who in 2008 urged the National Housing Corporation (NHC) to include the Fire Service in its plans in the construction of high-rise buildings, told the SUNDAY SUN officers had detected several issues with the complex and a report was being submitted to the NHC.

While he did not divulge details, because the report was still being prepared, Marshall confirmed that a team from the fire prevention unit had toured the complex earlier this year. He said there were issues such as lack of fire extinguishers, the inability of the residents to access the locked emergency doors, and ventilation along the corridors.


Barbados Postal Service 160th Anniversary

We extend our sincere congratulations to the Management and Staff of the Barbados Postal Service on the occasion of their 160th Anniversary. We appreciate the BPS's commitment to providing 160 years of dedicated service to our nation and the world.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

House Razed

A fire at Checker Hall Tenantry Road No. 2, St Lucy, destroyed an unoccupied wooden house on Monday night. Two tenders – one from the Arch Hall Fire Station and the other from Weston Fire Station – under the command of Station Officer Willis O’Neal, responded to the blaze, which started after 7 p.m.

A small gathering of curious onlookers watched as the fire was quickly brought under control. Monday night’s fire added to an already busy day for firefighters, who had earlier battled the blaze at Workbench that started in the wee hours of that morning. Here, fire officers battling the blaze at Checker Hall.


Monday, April 9, 2012

Early Morning Blaze Destroys Workbench Furniture

One of Barbados’ most renowned furniture manufacturing companies was destroyed in an early morning fire today.

The fire at Workbench Furniture Limited started just before 3 a.m., and officials of the Barbados Fire Service (BFS) finally brought it under control more than three hours later.

But even after 10 a.m. , as motorists drove past the razed building on the Spring Garden Highway, smoke could still be seen coming from several areas along the western side the complex.

The walls of large building were still upright, but it was clear the business had been gutted. Public relations officer of the Royal Barbados Police Force, Inspector David Welch, said that even after the blaze had been brought under control around 6.10 a.m. firemen and police remained at the scene to ensure no further flare-ups.

Welch said, the building, owned by the Barbados Investment and Development Corporation (BIDC), was insured.


Sunday, April 1, 2012

Fire Destroys Six Stores In Regent Street Guyana

Fire-fighters are at this hour still battling a major fire on Regent Street in Guyana. The fire which started around 05:00 hours this morning quickly engulfed and destroyed a building housing six stores on Regent and Waterloo Streets.  Chief Fire Officer Marlon Gentle has informed the media that eight fire trucks responded, unfortunately, six stores were destroyed during the blaze. He indicated that burglar bars on the building posed a serious challenge. (Photo compliments: A. Bynoe)

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Asbestos Exposure Risks For Firefighters

Firefighters are often the first responders to fires and many other disaster events. Because of this responsibility, they face a number of immediate hazards that follow disasters, including the risk for asbestos exposure. This risk presents its greatest threat when firefighters answer the call to a fire in a home or commercial building built before the 1980s. Asbestos was incorporated into more than 3,000 construction products and nearly every home and building built before 1980 contains asbestos to some degree. Read entire article:

Thursday, March 8, 2012

International Women's Day - Saluting Our Firewomen

On July 1, 1979 six females entered the Barbados Fire Service for the very first time. The enlistment of females into the fire service also coincided with a change in the rank of Fireman to Fire Officer. On this the observance of International Women's Day we express our gratitude and salute our female firefighters for their sterling contribution to the fire and rescue profession.

Monday, February 27, 2012

False Plates On Car In Smash-up

The police are investigating an accident involving a car with false licence plates whose occupants fled the scene. The three-car accident occurred early yesterday morning. Police reports indicate two cars were involved in the initial accident, which occurred at 4:40 a.m on Mapp Hill, St Michael.

One of the cars was driven was Jamal Barrow, 25. He complained of pains to the neck and back. Barrow was transporting three passengers. The most seriously injured passenger was Mark Mason, who was unconscious when emergency personnel arrived and had to be cut from the vehicle using the Jaws of Life. Mason suffered serious head injuries and a collapsed right lung. He was taken by ambulance to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, where he underwent surgery and is currently in stable condition.

The other passengers complained of pains about the body. The other car was driven by William Farnum, 23. He also complained of body pain. Farnum’s passenger 24-year-old Lizelle Coren, complained of body pain. A third car struck one of the damaged vehicles shortly after the initial collision and its occupants fled the scene. Police said the third car had false licence plates.

Source: Nation News 2012/02/27

Car On Fire At Warrens

A 34-year-old welder escaped injury this evening when the car he was driving caught fire at Warrens St Michael just opposite Cheffette. Mark Edghill of Cliffland St. John was driving when the incident occurred just after 6 pm. Some people rushed to Edghill's assistance. A water tender from the Arch Hall Fire station also responded to the fire which was under control when they arrived. (RL)

Source: Nation News 2012/02/27

Six Hurt In Three Car Accident

Six people were taken to hospital Sunday morning after sustaining injuries in a three car smash up along Mapp Hill. It's also being reported that the occupants of one of the cars fled the scene.

Police give no age or address for Mark Mason, who appeared to have stained the most serious injuries.
Mason was reportedly unconscious, when he was freed from the vehicle by a team from the Barbados Fire Service just before five in the morning.

He was an occupant along with two others in a car driven by 25 year old Jamal Barrow, of Church Village, St. Philip. Also involved in the accident were 25 year old William Farnum, of Worthing, Christ Church and his passenger, 24 year old Lizelle Coren, of Frere Pilgrim, Christ Church.


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Fiery Incident

The severely burned fire victim Michael Albert, telling his story to police investigators on the scene.
An early morning fire at a National Housing Corporation unit on Country Road, St. Michael left two men with burns about their bodies — one with potentially life-threatening injuries.

Police Pubic Relations Officer, Inspector David Welch, said the worse of the two, Michael Albert, of 9D Country Towers, sustained burns to 90 per cent of his body. 

Inspector Welch said that 38-year-old Albert, who was rushed to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital by ambulance in serious condition, was detained in the Intensive Care Unit.His 27-year-old brother, Greville Headley, who lived at the same residence, received burns to his neck and hands. 

Police said the girlfriends of the two men escaped injury. Reports indicated that the fire was sparked by a dispute at the house. 

The NHC unit, which comprised two floors received extensive damage to the living room and its contents, while the upper floor was slightly affected by smoke and water. Welch said the fire happened at around 7 o’clock this morning and was brought under control 40 minutes later. Three fire tenders responded to the alarm, which was raised at about 7:18 a.m. 

Police are continuing their investigations into the circumstances that led to the blaze. (EJ) 


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Huge Solar Storm Is Pounding Earth Now

A wave of charged particles from an intense solar storm is pummeling the Earth right now, which may trigger stunning aurora displays and cause minor disruptions to satellites and other communications equipment over the next two days, NASA scientists say.

The storm began when a powerful solar flare erupted on the sun yesterday (Jan. 23), blasting a stream of charged particles toward Earth. This electromagnetic burst, called a coronal mass ejection (CME), hit Earth at about 9:31 a.m. EST (1430 GMT), according to scientists at the Space Weather Center at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

Several NASA satellites, including the Solar Dynamics Observatory, the Solar Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO), and the Stereo spacecraft observed the massive sun storm. Data from these spacecraft were combined to help scientists create models to calculate when and where the CME was going to hit Earth.

Stop Nuisance Calls On 311 Emergency Lines

We take this opportunity to remind residents that you must NOT use the 311 emergency lines to make nuisance calls to the Fire Service. Persons in need of the correct time should call 976-8463, if you require information on weather conditions please call 976-2376. When you repeatedly engage our 311 lines requesting such information you deprive someone else of the opportunity to obtain urgent assistance from the Fire Service.

Friday, January 20, 2012

NCPADD Urges Fire Service To Endorse Breathalyzer Testing

Rev. David Holder, Pastor Victor Roach and Fire Chief Wilfred Marshall.
Rev. David Holder, Pastor Victor Roach and Chief Fire Officer Wilfred Marshall during a seminar this morning at Fire Service Headquarters in Bridgetown. Pastor Roach was addressing fire officers on the topic of Breathalyzer Testing and also urged the Fire Department to pledge its support and endorsement for its implementation in Barbados.

Team Atlantic Dash Arrives Port St. Charles

Firefighters John Haskell and Jamie Windsor (Team Atlantic Dash) as they arrived this morning at the Port St. Charles Marina in Barbados around 0800 hours. The team from South Wales Fire & Rescue Service are participating in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge and left the Canary Isles on December 4, 2011 to row across the Atlantic unsupported in order to raise awareness and over £100,000 for charity. 
Congratulations to John and Jamie on a tremendous job. The members of the Barbados Fire Service extend our very best wishes to you on your fantastic accomplishment (2,615 nautical miles in 45 days, 19 hours and 21 minutes).
Members of the Barbados Fire Service with John and Jamie after the presentation ceremony ceremony.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Advice From Fire Chief

Homeowners are being urged to pay closer attention to electrical installations which, if not carried out correctly, could lead to their homes going up in smoke.

Word of this from Chief Fire Officer Wilfred Marshall as he reviewed some of the trends that were seen in 2011 and the fire prevention programmes which will continue into the New Year.

Marshall lamented that fires which are started by electricity are being seen from time to time by the Barbados Fire Service.

“Over the Christmas season, I was concerned about the number of fires...there were about three or four fires that I am aware of that involved Christmas lights. That was beginning to bother me, but the season has passed and most of the lights should be down now but I would still like persons to pay attention to electrical installation and appliances.”

Noting that there has been a marked decrease in the number of recorded fires last year over the previous year, he expressed hope that the Barbadian public will continue to pay attention to the fire safety messages.

One of the areas which the Fire Chief said they will be focused on during the coming year is working closely with residents of the high rise housing solutions introduced to Barbados.

“As Government moves to high rise housing accommodation, we are trying to ensure that we stick closely to the high rises and we are in the process of developing programmes to treat directly to high rise apartments to ensure that the residents are aware of the practices required.”

He explained that this will include fire prevention measures, pointing out that the buildings have been designed with fire protection – including firewalls – in order to restrict the fire to one unit during a fire event.

The Fire Chief opined that there is still a need to outfit all homes in Barbados with fire extinguishers.

“I would like all homes to have extinguishers, and that is why we partnered with Rotary West last year in a programme in the New Orleans where we gave our fire extinguishers to persons whom we believe might find it difficult to purchase, [thereby] providing some level of fire protection.”

“We donated water hoses and fire extinguishers, taught residents how to use the fire extinguishers. Those are all programmes that we hope to continue this year.”

He added that the Barbados Fire Service will be reinforcing what was done in 2011, continuing with its prevention programme through its Fire Prevention Unit.

There was an almost 50 per cent reduction in fires in 2011 over 2010. Total figures showed a drop from 2 610 in 2010 to 1 336 in 2011. (JH) 


Saturday, January 14, 2012

Temporary Fire Officers Receive Appointment Letters

Chief Fire Officer Wilfred Marshall held his first General Meeting for the calendar year 2012 yesterday at Fire Service Headquarters in Bridgetown. During the meeting the Fire Chief announced that 25 officers hired as temporary fire officers since November 2006 would receive their letters of appointment yesterday. He also announced the appointment of Errol Maynard as the new Deputy Chief Fire Officer commencing January 15, 2012.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Man Rescued From Overturned Water Tanker

Two fire tenders under the command of Acting Divisional Officer Ricardo Gittens and Acting Station Officer Neal Smithwick responded to a motor vehicle accident around 1238 hours today at Six Roads, St. Philip. Firefighters extricated a 50-year-old man from the truck (water tanker) he was driving after it overturned trapping him in the process. The driver was treated at the scene and later transported by ambulance to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. (Photo compliments: E Pilgrim)

Errol Maynard Is The New Deputy Chief

Acting Station Officer Errol Maynard is the new Deputy Chief Fire Officer of the Barbados Fire Service. The 47-year-old officer’s appointment takes effect from Sunday, January 15, 2012.

Maynard has been a member of the service for 27 years. During his career he has moved through the ranks of Leading Fire Officer, Sub. Officer and recently carried out the duties of acting Station Officer. Other notable accomplishments include; Officer-in-Charge of Information and Technology, Deputy Officer-in-Charge of Training and also former Secretary of the Barbados Fire Service Association.

We extend our heartiest congratulations to Deputy Chief Maynard and wish him the best in his future endeavours.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Mum, Daughter Hurt In Smash-Up

Motorists were forced to use alternative roads yesterday when an accident along busy Waterford, St Michael, left that stretch impassable.  

However, the three people involved in the collision around 11:15 a.m. between a car and a sports utility vehicle (SUV) escaped major injury.

The driver of the car, Vanessa Bowen, 40, of No. 5 Hillside Terrace, Gall Hill, Christ Church, and her mother Audrey Chase, 56, of Deighton Road, St Michael, complained of back pain and were taken to hospital by ambulance.

The driver of the SUV was Tyrone Small, 30, of No. 3 Venture, St John. Small’s vehicle and Bowen’s car were involved in the collision at the Waterford junction.

His SUV hit the electricity pole, which snapped in half and fell to the ground, bringing the attached power lines down with it. The vehicle landed on its side.

Officials from Barbados Light & Power arrived at the scene shortly after the collision to assess the damage and begin repairs. (DP)


Friday, January 6, 2012

Route Taxi And Car Collide At Weymouth

A motor vehicle accident around 18:30 hours yesterday at Weymouth, Roebuck Street, St. Michael resulted in two vehicles being extensively damaged the collision. Firefighters from Fire Service Headquarters using two tenders responded to the accident which involved a Route Taxi and a motor car. One female occupant was treated and transported to Queen Elizabeth Hospital by paramedics, three others received medical attention.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Fire Drill At Esso Holborn Terminal

On Friday, December 30, 2011 members of the Barbados Fire Service (BFS) in collaboration with personnel from Esso Barbados SRL conducted a fire drill at the Holborn Terminal. The objectives of the exercise were to test the BFS emergency response procedure and provide a familiarization tour to members of the Fire Service.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Firefighters Get Familiar With Country Park Towers

Members of the Barbados Fire Service conducted a familiarization tour of the National Housing Corporation's new Country Park Towers high-rise housing complex located at Country Road, St. Michael. Several Gazetted Officers of the department along with fire officers visited the complex on Friday afternoon.

Five Injured In Three Car Collision

The New Year has started unfortunately with five persons receiving medical treatment after a three car collision around 2:54 hours this morning at the junction of Reservoir Road, Lodge Hill, St. Michael. Two fire tenders under the command of Acting Divisional Officer Tyrone Trotman responded to the incident. Two of the vehicles were extensively damaged the other slightly. The injured were transported to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in three ambulances.

Happy New Year 2012

Wishing you all a Happy New Year... may your year be filled with peace, good health, happiness, prosperity and much love... xxxx.