[www.inewsguyana.com] – The Guyana Fire Service’s (GFS) training complex, at Leonora is expected to enhance the service’s ability to execute its mandate in facilitating training of ranks for the roles of Fire and Rescue Service operatives.
Minister of Home Affairs Clement Rohee declared open the $139M training complex facility, located in the Leonora Fire Service compound on Monday, January 26.
He said the facility is testimony to the Government’s commitment to modernise the GFS, to transform it to one that is a fully fledged Fire and Rescue Service, offering a variety of emergency services to the citizens of Guyana.
He said, “It is very disappointing though that there are a few persons who have vested interest in stymieing the modernising process of this important disciplined service.”
However, he said that the Government cannot continue to deny the citizens access to better emergency services such as an ambulance service, rescue from vehicles involved in accidents, collapsed buildings and structures, and other services that the GFS undertakes.
Minister Rohee explained that prior to 1992, the GFS was operating from two fire stations, one fire tender and a pick up vehicle in Georgetown, and three other operational stations at New Amsterdam, Timehri and Leonora. Training was also done on an ad-hoc basis at fire stations because there was no established facility to undertake training.
Since then, the GFS has established working relationships with the Caribbean Fire Service, the French Guiana Fire Service and Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service, and the Severn Park Fire and Rescue Training Center, and has benefited from positive initiatives from these relationships in the form of training and exchange visits.
He urged the residents to assist the service in its quest to make the country safer.
Meanwhile Fire Chief, Marlon Gentle expressed gratitude to the Government for this initiative, noting that it will be developed into the only state-of-the-art fire training complex in the Caribbean. He said that the complex has received great reviews from its partners and will be willing to facilitate other smaller states interested in using it.
A unit of officers is currently undergoing training in the United Kingdom, and Gentle said that they will be returning to assist in manning the facility.
Gentle also said that this facility is another step in the modernisation of the fire service into a fire and rescue one, as it will also be facilitating remedial training for emergency ambulance workers.
The Fire Chief noted that the fire service must be cognisant of the pace of development in Guyana, as this will dictate the pace at which it will be rolling out its services. He noted that a fire station is currently being constructed at La Grange and will become operational soon. [Extracted and modified from GINA]