The Fire Department has increased its fleet with the addition of another tender from the United States, while two of three trucks purchased from the United Kingdom are expected to arrive on island today, August 12.
Reports say the tender arrived on island earlier this week and will bolster the Department’s efforts to fight fires, which had become a challenge with the older vehicles.
This is the second truck imported from the United States in the past months, with the first having arrived in May. It follows the donation of a tender, a few weeks ago, from the Peace Love and Happiness (PLH) project in Barbuda.
Reports say the third engine is a new truck and, therefore, is being built from scratch, and it is expected to arrive on island in September.
Following several fires that underscored the Department’s inability to execute its duties properly, the Browne Administration came under strong attack earlier this year.
In March, several homes in The Point were completely destroyed, since the single working fire tender had to travel all the way from All Saints to fight what began as a house blaze. That truck’s water capacity was also found to be insufficient and there was no running water, at the time, in the area.
In that instance, as well as several others, the services of private water trucks had to be sought to help extinguish the fire.
While many residents are pleased that firetrucks are being purchased, they feel the timing is deliberate and planned to coincide with the upcoming general elections.
A woman says that new tenders could have been purchased four years ago. But, as usual, she adds, the Labour Party Government waits until the eve of an election to get things done, so people will say it is “doing plenty for the people.”
She says this type of politicking must stop, since the people’s money should not be used as a tool by any governing party to win at the polls.