The Guyana Fire Service (GFS) on Friday conducted a rescue and firefighting simulation exercise, aimed at enhancing its capabilities and skills to respond to fires.
Speaking to the Department of Public Information (DPI) at the GFS headquarters located on Homestretch Avenue, Georgetown, Suresh Persaud, Officer in charge of Operations said that the exercise also forms part of the host of activities planned for fire prevention month 2023.
He reminded that the main priority of the fire service is the saving of lives.
In keeping with this aim, the exercise forms part of their improvement agenda to ensure that not only is the fire service equipped with the necessary amenities, but that these amenities are strategically utilised to ensure maximum efficiency and effectiveness.
The officer also clarified a common misconception regarding fire trucks gravitating to open sources at the scene instead of utilising the reserves from in the water tender. He said this is also a strategic measure.
Based on an assessment of the fire, the fire service will determine whether the water that is housed in the water tender will be sufficient to deal with the magnitude of that fire.
“Whenever you notice the fire truck arrives on the scene and then moves to an open source of water, it’s not because we don’t have water, but we would have realised that the water in that tank is insufficient to deal with the magnitude of that fire. That is why we go for a continuous supply,” Persaud explained.
He added that there are strict penalties attached for a lack of water in the water tender, including immediate dismissal, which speaks to the firmness with which the issue is treated.
With just over 600 persons within the fire department, the operations officer stressed the importance of the general public doing their part to enhance safety countrywide. Public awareness and partnership are key cornerstones in the fire service’s agenda for modernisation and adeptness.
“With input, advice, and learning from past events, we would have recognised that we need to take cognisance of that and prepare ourselves to respond in the event of any simultaneous rescue and firefighting occurrence. We are evolving and I think that is the way forward, modernisation of the fire service, more training, all in an effort to reach a standard that is required,”
A number of other activities are planned for Fire Prevention Month, including community outreaches, and fire safety exhibitions at several schools in Georgetown, the East Bank and the East Coast. This year, Fire Prevention Month is being observed under the theme ‘For The Future of Our Nation, Practice Fire Safety and Prevention’.