Govt unsure of funding for expansion of Fire Service

first_imgUpgraded Disciplined ServicesAs part of Government’s efforts to improve effectiveness of the Guyana Fire Service’s (GFC’s) reach and first responder capacity, there are plans to construct a fire station on the West Coast of Berbice.Whether funds for such an undertaking will be made available in 2019 is another matter. According to Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan at a recent press conference, the cost to construct a fire station may be a prohibitive factor.Minister of Public Security, Khemraj Ramjattan“The nature of things as they evolve in Guyana means that that which was planned about ten years ago may not be able to be done now. Yes, we want to set infrastructure in places that had not gotten it…We want West Coast Berbice to have fire stations….That, of course depends on the budgetary allocation that we will get in 2019. I’ve made the case for it all over the place, but of course the Finance Ministry will want (to exercise) fiscal prudence and say all cannot be gotten in one year,” Ramjattan declared.Throwing his support behind such a stance, Ramjattan pointed to previous constructions and the drain they have had on finances. He pointed to the fact that several fire stations have been constructed recently from monies allocated in the 2018 budget.The first of three initial consultations on the disciplined services was held at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre (ACCC) only a few days ago, and attracted various stakeholders.Ramjattan also told the gathering that Government is cognisant of the situation and is working to improve all agencies under purview of the Ministry of Public Security. He explained that improvements have already begun to the Prison Service, Fire Service and Police Force. The need to boost skills and capacity was also noted.Chief Fire Officer Marlon Gentle later explained that consultations would ensure that all are apprised of the state of the proposed plans, and the way forward. Gentle also explained that the Strategic Management Plan, initiated in 2014 and ratified in 2016, has had the Government’s full support.These plans will see construction of five more fire stations and procurement of more equipment, including a fire fighting boat, to service the developments along the banks of the Demerara River.last_img

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