The Government of Guyana is interested in the safety of lives and property of all Guyanese, hence its continued investment in public infrastructure, and the expansion of services, Minister of Home Affairs, Robeson Benn, said during the commissioning of the new $37.8 million Eccles Fire Station.
Handing over the facility on Wednesday, the minister highlighted the magnitude of the government’s agenda to protect the lives and property of Guyanese.
“Today speaks volumes in respect of what we set out to do, what we envisage in relation to protecting the property, the lives and the livelihood of our Guyanese citizens.”
“Beyond the structure, the fact that we are bringing in the fire truck with the 24/7 complement of firefighters speaks to our intention of establishing in detail throughout the country the ability to respond to the challenges of fire, to the challenges of search and rescue, to the challenges of security and safety of our people,” Minister Benn added.
Construction of the fire station began on June 11, 2021. The modern 139 feet by 25 feet design consists of four living quarters for male and female firefighters and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) staff, a control room, three office areas, kitchen and external storage for fire service equipment.
A feasibility study was conducted to ensure the location was ideal for establishing the new fire station. The Guyana Fire Service (GFS) considered the number of structures, businesses and the development of the area.
The fire tender and ranks at the station will provide coverage to North of Agricola, Greater Georgetown South of Providence, East Bank Demerara (EBD) in the Western direction of the Demerara River. If warranted, the fire station will render support to the West Bank of Demerara.
Additionally, Chief Fire Officer, Gregory Wickham acknowledged the unwavering support the PPP/C led administration has been providing to ensure the GFS executes its duties effectively.
The Home Affairs Minister added, “The Government of Guyana has over the years been very, very supportive of the Guyana Fire Service, granting our request particularly in establishing fire stations, and having the relevant firefighting appliances being made available so we are able to execute our duties with that efficiency, with that level of professionalism. It is a joy; it is a privilege for us to have established in this vicinity a fire station that is intended to offer a service to the community and nearing communities in this area.”
Meanwhile, the ministry has been actively working to address issues with respect to fire fighting.
“This has to be an issue which we must not fail at, we must exemplify our training and identify our engagement in relation to this noble profession. We have to be ready, responsible, capable and engaged always, and if we are not, I invite any firefighter or ENT to resign, and I am prepared to sign the documents in relation to those,” Minister Benn stated.
Fire stations are being constructed in the towns of Lethem, in Region Nine, Mabaruma in Region One and Mahdia in Region Eight in an effort to expand the reach of fire service, ensuring citizens and their property are protected from fire.
Living quarters at New Eccles Fire Station