Facelift for Ochi fire stationMonday, September 20, 2021
BY HORACE MILLS
OCHO RIOS, St Ann — The Ocho Rios Fire Station is set to get an urgent facelift following instructions given by Minister of Local Government Desmond McKenzie, who has ministerial responsibility for the Jamaica Fire Brigade.
“I come here and I look around the back of the yard of the station, and I am not pleased,” McKenzie declared during a visit to the fire station last Friday.
He was making a courtesy call after two firemen from Ocho Rios Fire Station lost their lives in a motor vehicle crash on the Laughland main road in St Ann last Monday.
The fire fighters were identified as Stefan Walters and Alex Williams.
After trying to bring some amount of solace to the colleagues of the deceased, the minister went on an impromptu tour of the premises.
It was evident that sections of the roof are leaking, that there is a shortage of furniture, and that the outer walls of the building are in need of a fresh coat of paint. Sections of the station compound are also overgrown with shrubs.
“As a mark of respect and to show solidarity we will assure that, as soon as the necessary estimates are completed, we will have some face-lifting of the location to allow those who are here to come into an environment that is conducive — and it at least will take away some of the daily challenges they face,” declared McKenzie.
He instructed chairman of the St Ann Municipal Corporation, Sydney Stewart to take on the task of having the work done.
Stewart, who was in earshot, assured firefighters that the minister's instructions would be carried out.
“The municipality stands ready to work with you, and I see the minister has just assigned me to get your place cleaned up. We are going to start doing that because it is a directive that we received. When he comes back, he will see the compound in a much better condition,” said Stewart.