The Barbados Fire Service ??has received a boost with the gift of $US10, 000 worth of used training equipment from the Florida-based Hillsborough Community College during a presentation at the Arch Hall Fire Department this morning.

Station Officer, Earl Maynard, said that the training department could now boast of breathing apparatus; hazard material suits, as well as decontamination equipment thanks to the college’s generous donation.

According to the fire officer: "The relationship between the Hillsborough College and the Barbados Fire Service has been ongoing for the past 10 years…and during that period, they taught us a number of courses, such as marine fire fighting; hazardous material training and come next month, we will be learning high risk fire fighting."

Chief Fire Officer, Wilfred Marshall, who was in attendance, lauded the initiative.?? The official said he was especially grateful for the breathing apparatus sets, since it was mandatory that fire officers wear them.

??Mr. Marshall emphasised that when officers arrived on the scene of a fire, ??they would now be better equipped.?? According to him, in the past they faced a number of challenges, in the absence of this particular apparatus.??

The official added that he was also extremely grateful for the donation, as it would now go a long way in stabilising how officers approached emergencies.

Meanwhile, Academic Dean for the Work Force Programme at Hillsborough Community College, Jack Evans, said he was happy to assist the Barbados Fire Service, as well as to share training techniques with the various officers over the years.

"We have had an excellent exchange programme over the years, so when surplus equipment became available, to me, it just seemed logical that we would offer to donate to this partnership that we have had with Barbados.?? I think Firefighters are ??special… along with the fact that they save lives, but their own lives are constantly in jeopardy.?? So, therefore, training becomes essential and I don’t think we can do enough,"?? Mr. Evans stressed.??

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