The Fire Department has faced criticisms as they have worked with old trucks throughout the country. Recent fires in San Pedro and Orange Walk have put the department under extra scrutiny but the Minister of Transport Edmond Castro says that new trucks and water bowsers will be purchased for the Fire Department.
Edmond Castro, Minister for NEMO: “I would say by the end of the year we should have at least two additional trucks. I think they already purchased two so it’s just a matter of them reaching here. A third one is going to – one of San Pedro, one for Corozal, one going to PG and we are also in the process of purchasing approximately six water bowsers which will carry the capacity of approximately ten trucks, three thousand gallon water bowsers. We are also looking at the possibility of getting some cheaper trucks out of the US but the water trucks which will serve as a backup for the fire trucks will really assist the fire fighting capabilities. BTL has purchased two fire trucks for us since that interview it’s just a matter of getting the fire trucks here now and we are getting additional fire trucks I think the country of India which that one will be going to PG so it’s just a matter of getting them here. We’ve sourced some fire trucks don’t quote me on the exact state in the US that is about $10,000 for some used fire trucks that we are in the process of looking at those so that we can look at purchasing some of those as well.”
Reporter: In addition to fire trucks another issue is the access to water, the recent Orange Walk fire where that family of four passed away one of the flaws was that fire hydrants were not easily accessible nearby, is that something that you’ll be discussing with BWSL for example?
Edmon Castro, Minister for NEMO: “Yes but when you look at the fire hydrants throughout the country, San Pedro for example the volume of water is not there for the quantity of water that needs to be dispensed in the fighting of fire because of the water services but that is one of the reasons that if we could come up with some water bowsers, some three thousand gallon water bowsers most of these fire trucks only carry a capacity of about three hundred gallons so if we could have a bowser on site we are looking at an additional eight to ten fire trucks there in terms of the volume of water so I think that is the way that we are trying to go.”