|Relief for P/Fortin firemen |
Thursday, February 16 2017
RELIEF is on the way for firemen of the Point Fortin Fire Station.
They are to be relocated to a temporary station while efforts are to be made for the construction of a new station to replace the 85-year-old structure which has been condemned as unsafe for human occupation.
National Security Minister Edmund Dillon responded to a threat by firemen to abandon the station if they are not relocated within two weeks. “I am in discussions with the Acting Chief Fire Officer Roosevelt Bruce to resolve issues at Point Fortin Fire Station. I fully understand the officers’ frustration.
In fact, I visited this station on two occasions and have engaged a service provider for a temporary accommodation to house firemen and equipment,” Dillon said.
“That process is ongoing as there are procedures with respect to evaluation of the property where the temporary station will be located.
It is expected that a solution will be had in the shortest possible time.” Dillon noted that an approach has been made to Government to acquire property in Pt Fortin for the design and construction of a new fire station.
It is understood that government has allocated $11 million, in the 2017 budget, for a new fire station.
Fifty firemen are based at the fire station. Told by Newsday of Minister Dillon’s intervention, firemen yesterday expressed joy by the minister’s swift response. “It is not right to be working alongside rats and cockroaches. We are happy that we will be relocated. Minister Dillon’s response was swift and very much appreciated,” a fireman said.
Firemen said that they are so afraid that the building can collapse at anytime that they have moved their bunk beds to the front of the station under a tent. At night, they rest or sleep on the bunks walking distance from the pavement, while awaiting calls from the public.