A contract was awarded for the construction of a US$1.4 million fireboat which will be stationed in the Demerara Harbour. This was disclosed by the Chief Fire
Officer, Marlon Gentle, during an interview with the Department of Public Information (DPI).
Angloco Limited, a company based in the United Kingdom, is tasked with the construction of the massive vessel. The Fire Chief described the vessel’s construction as “monumental”. Guyana last possessed a fireboat in 1978.
Gentle noted that over the years there has been much development of Guyana’s waterfronts, adding that there is the potential for more port facilities, which warrant the need for the fireboat.
“It heralds the need for this type of equipment so that we can have some sort of port protection for our storage, our wharfs, warehouses… on the waterfront, and also a fireboat is a very useful piece of equipment for shore support in terms of land-based firefighting operations”, the Fire Chief explained.
According to Gentle, the vessel will improve the Guyana Fire Service’s marine firefighting and response capabilities, as it will be able to pump in excess of 5000 gallons of water per minute to support the aforementioned land based operations.
Gentle pointed out that the vessel, “will take somewhere between nine and ten months to complete. In the meantime, the Guyana Fire Service is considering other facilities that will have to support this vessel in terms of birthing facilities, and the staffing to man this new piece of equipment.”
The fire vessel’s construction is one of the Guyana Fire Service’s major projects being undertaken, coming out of the 2017 National Budget. It is another step by the Fire Service to improve its firefighting capability.
Earlier in the year, the Fire Service constructed a firefighting simulator at Leonora in Region Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara), which was certified as meeting international standards by Angloco Limited. The training simulator provides a secure environment to learn ventilation techniques, recognise dangerous situations and is intended to provide real time firefighting and rescue experiences to Guyana Fire Service ranks.