A fully functional fire station and ambulance service has been established at Melanie Damishana to serve communities along the East Coast Demerara. The facilities are an investment of $51.4 million and 12.5 million respectively.
Minister of Home Affairs, Robeson Benn MP, and Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony MP, said the investment is another example of the Government providing critical services to the people. The Ministers made this statement at the opening ceremony on Friday afternoon.
Minister Benn says the fire station would significantly reduce response time along the Coast, augmenting the service provided by fire stations at Campbellville and Mahaica which serve those communities.
“As we continue to commission, just now, the new fire stations in Mabaruma, Mahdia and other places… the national architecture in response to fire and medical emergencies would be comprehensively enhanced,” he said.
Minister Benn also pointed out that as the new fire stations are being established, the Government is providing the requisite resources for their effective functioning.
“We have five new fire tenders which we paid for and brought in. The five new fire tenders will go a long way towards enhancing our capabilities and throughout the country,” the Home Affairs Minister stated.
Meanwhile, the establishment of the emergency medical ambulance service is a first for the area. The Health Minister says the goal is to replicate the service countrywide. He says 20 ambulances will be procured through budget 2021.
“We know that with a good EMS service, that there are many lives that can be saved.
“But, think about the opportunity that is lost if we take a lot of time in expanding this service and that is what we want to ensure that we do not lose any more opportunity in terms of saving lives,” Minister Anthony said.
The Minister also revealed that the EMS headquarters would be established in the compound of the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention at Liliendaal.
“There is a building that was used as a conference space, but we have already allocated the monies to start the refurbishment of that facility…
“I think the tenders have been out and maybe they would have already given an award to somebody to start rehabilitating that space… That is how serious we are about this whole EMS service,” the Health Minister noted.
Minister Anthony also called on firefighters and emergency medical technicians (EMTs) to get vaccinated against COVID-19. He said it is important that they protect themselves and the people they come into contact with when executing their duties.
The new fire station will be equipped with trained firefighters and EMTs along with an ambulance and fire tender.
Chief Fire Officer, Mr. Kalamadeen Edoo; Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Home Affairs, Ms. Mae Toussaint Jr. Thomas; Advisor to the Minister of Home Affairs, Mr. Harry Gill; Advisor to the Minister of Health, Dr. Leslie Ramsammy; Medical Director – Ministry of Health, Dr. Zulfikar Bux; and Regional Chairman, Region Four, Mr. Daniel Seeram also attended the commissioning. (Department of Public Information)