Deputy Fire Chief, Henderson patrick (left) handing over the keys to the Hazmat Truck to acting Station officer, Patrick Edwards as other fire officer look on. (J.Rawlins-Bentham/BGIS)

The Barbados Fire Service (BFS) has commissioned a suite of new tools for its fire-fighting arsenal.

They include a repurposed water tender with a pump, a submersible pump, as well as the Barbados Fire Service Hazardous Materials Response Unit.

Deputy Chief Fire Officer, Henderson Patrick, officially handed over the equipment to personnel at the Arch Hall Fire Station following a training session for the command team and the support units of the BFS at the Fire Academy on Monday. They were also trained in the correct use of the temperature monitors during the training session.

Mr. Patrick said that recent drought conditions did not negate the responsibility of the BFS when responding to an incident.

He pointed out that in times such as these, extinguishing fires using a minimum amount of water would therefore be critical to their operations going forward.

He explained that the installation of the pump on one of the BFS’ small appliances (Water Tender 14) demonstrated the BFS’ ability to use a limited amount of water in fighting fires, as it carried 90 gallons of water, and utilized high-pressure and misting technology in fighting fires.

“That misting technology is one that we are incorporating into the operations of the Barbados Fire Service. It uses limited volumes of water and you are still able to achieve what you want to achieve in extinguishing fires,” he explained.

Mr. Patrick stressed that the command team of the BFS was not exempt from training, as they would often be required to take the lead at incidents where personnel were not familiar with the equipment.

“Training is something that we have to encourage at all levels. When we stop training, we stop learning then we are in a sense dying. In order to keep all of us alive and going, we have to continue training,’’ he stressed.

During the training session, Instructor at the Barbados Fire Academy, Edward Pilgrim, explained the operations of Water Tender 14, while Leading Fire Officer, Lonsdale Blake, focused on the submersible pump.

Meanwhile, Fire Officer in the Research and Planning Unit, Andrew Taylor, explained the correct way of conducting a temperature test, and of the need to allow persons who come from outside an opportunity to “cool down” before taking their temperature.

He pointed out that the thermometer will show the operator when things are going wrong as the indicator would move from green to orange or to red, depending on a person’s temperature.

Mr. Taylor also advised participants to always wear a face mask when taking a temperature.

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