Moonilal: Fire Service needs be properly equipped in the shortest possible time

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Moonilal: Fire Service needs be properly equipped in the shortest possible time

Opposition MP Roodal Moonilal said the collapse of the Trinidad and Tobago Fire Services is another crushing indictment on the spectacularly failed Fitzgerald Hinds as Minister of National Security.

Hinds has given repeated assurances in and out of Parliament of the provision of critical fire-fighting equipment and yet, according to Moonilal. people are dying and buildings destroyed from the absence of appliances and other essentials.

In a statement on Friday, he said some fire tenders are more than 20 years old and are in urgent need of repairs. We are informed that of the eleven stations in the northern division, they have only four working appliances !!!

“It is now dangerously scandalous that the fire services has 10 working breathing apparatus (BA) when they should have over 300!! Critical stations at Savonetta and Piarco and San Fernando are with manpower storages and depleted and defective equipment. What happens if an earthquake strikes, as one did today in New York? In the event of an accident at Piarco International Airport; what is the status and readiness of the fire services ? These are troubling questions that send a chill up the spine of ordinary citizens but appear to be “water on duck back” to the loquacious Hinds,” added the Oropouche East MP.

He said, in addition to the chronic shortage of self-contained breathing apparatus for fire officers, who repeatedly put their lives at risk in the conduct of their duties, there is a dire shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) across all stations.

Moonilal said the state of the Fire Service has never been more ill-equipped, and Hinds’ only response is that equipment will arrive “soon.”

“But in the typical style of the worthless Hinds, when all is said and done, more is said than done. This indeed motivated one daily newspaper to recently editorialize that Hinds has reached “new heights of emptiness” in the aftermath of a still pointless press conference.”

The UNC MP said, “While he continues to preside over an inadequate Fire Service, several citizens, including the elderly, infirm and children, have perished in major blazes that have also devastated various properties and displaced workers.”

Moonilal said the UNC strongly supports the fervent pleas of the Fire Services Association and all right thinking citizens for the Fire Service to be properly equipped in the shortest possible time.

“If necessary, funds should be diverted from non-essential measures – including vote-getting projects, useless international travel by the Prime Minister and other Ministers, – to purchase appliances, breathing equipment, and other fire-fighting tools.”