Following Sunday morning’s fire in Orange Walk Town, the National Fire Service has once again come under criticism. A number of catastrophic fires have highlighted the fire department’s lack of adequate equipment that is needed for the department to successfully carry out its job. Yesterday, Fire Chief Ted Smith responded to some of the criticisms and accepted that there are a number of limitations.
Fire Chief Ted Smith: “For some reason it is expected that the fire service have unlimited water, we don’t carry the sea, the canal nor the heavens with us when we respond to a structure and it’s not being sarcastic, it’s being realistic. We do not carry the heavens the sea nor the oceans with us when we travel to a fire. We have small trucks that we responded with that has limited capacity. We have a country that has limited hydrants and very poor flow. Until these things are fixed then there will be limitations but we did not have problems, we just had challenges. The truck went into operations, two trucks, one had 450 gallons of water, the other had 200 gallons of water. After exhausting its supply they were shuttling water from the nearest hydrants, the hydrants that was in operation, the distance was approximately little over a mile so there was no possibility of relaying water from that particular area so it has to shuttle water. That took place and eventually a good samaritan from the area brought in a water truck from the area with some water that we could have utilized and assisted in extinguishing the fire.”