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Manchester custos lauds emergency responders

BY KASEY WILLIAMS
Observer writer

Monday, March 23, 2020

MANDEVILLE, Manchester — The emergency services in this south-central town continue to be commended for their response to last month's massive fire at Heaven's Fesco gas station, which resulted in $100 million in damage.

Custos rotulorum for Manchester Garfield Green recently recognised and commended firefighters, police, and the staff of Mandeville Regional Hospital for their response in averting what could have been a far greater catastrophe.

“This incident had the potential of creating a catastrophe in the town of Mandeville, where far more lives could have been affected and damage could have been far more widespread. However, this was averted by the responses of the police, fire department, and the medical services,” said Green.

“Based on the facts we must commend our first responders for their acts of bravery and uncompromised competence in handling the situation,” he added.

He disclosed that arrangements were being made with the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management to provide training to help in bringing about public awareness as to how to respond in similar circumstances.

Manchester Fire Prevention Unit District Officer Gareth Russell commended the police for assisting in crowd control, thus allowing firefighters to extinguish the blaze quickly.

However, he was very concerned about the carelessness by some people in the face of danger.

“The police did their best… the kind of crowd that was at the scene, persons wanted to take pictures. My commissioner in Kingston got images from the scene from before we [firefighters] got there. No one took the time out to call the fire brigade,” he said.
Green was adamant that citizens must take responsibility for fire prevention and safety.

“All of us have a responsibility, and that is why we are really doing this [recognition] to remind persons, let them be aware that they, too, have a responsibility. They have to protect themselves and inform the authorities,” said Green.