‘Fire brigade ambulances equipped with protective gear’

Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Desmond McKenzie (centre), addresses representatives of agencies under the Ministry, at a recent COVID-19 meeting. With him are Director of Health Promotion and Protection Dr Simone Spence and Commissioner of the Jamaica Fire Brigade Stewart Beckford.

Jamaica Fire Brigade (JFB) Commissioner, Stewart Beckford, said the entity’s ambulances are equipped to transport persons displaying respiratory and flu-like symptoms.

“We have worked out a protocol with the Ministry of Health as to how we treat with an individual who may be displaying flu-like symptoms,” he said. “We have also procured some protective equipment or gear for our firefighters. These include gloves, goggles, masks and protective gowns so they are equipped.”

Commissioner Beckford was addressing a special meeting at the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development in Kingston.

The meeting was convened with ministry officials, the Board of Supervision, matrons from infirmaries, Mayors and Chief Executive Officers of municipal corporations, and representatives of agencies under the Ministry, to discuss their response to COVID-19.

Portfolio Minister Desmond McKenzie, said that the JFB will provide ambulance assistance to infirmaries in parishes where the service is available. These include Trelawny, St. James, Hanover, Westmoreland and St. Catherine.

For parishes without JFB ambulance service, the Minister said that contact has been initiated with private operators to provide support to infirmaries as needed.