McKenzie calls for end to prank calls to JFB
- Fire Brigade received over 1,220 calls in 2022
Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Desmond McKenzie, speaks in the 2023/24 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives, on May 30. (Photo: JIS)

KINGSTON, Jamaica – A four per cent increase in prank calls to the Jamaica Fire Brigade (JFB) in 2022 has spurred concern from Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Desmond McKenzie, who has once again called for an end to the practice.

During his presentation in the 2023/24 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on May 30, McKenzie said that while the efforts of the JFB are to be applauded, the malicious false alarms are “serious areas of concerns”.

The minister informed that a total of 1,220 prank calls were received last year by the entity.

“The country needs to realise that when you do things like this, we burn gas, lives are at stake, property is at stake, and at the end of the day, people are left suffering,” McKenzie told the House.

In the meantime, the minister also reported that in the last financial year, an additional 188 recruits joined the Brigade as fully-fledged firefighters, with their areas of speciality, including Nuclear and Radiation Emergencies, Water Rescue, Electric Hybrid Motor Vehicle Response, and Emergency Medical Technician Training.

In addition, more than 80 of the applicants for the job of firefighter, in the last financial year, have first degrees and associate degrees in disciplines ranging from Electrical Engineering to Environmental Studies.

McKenzie also pointed out that women make up 13 per cent of firefighters, and this is projected to increase based on the application figures.

He said that this places Jamaica above developed countries, such as the United States and Canada, where five per cent and 4.5 per cent, respectively, of all firefighters are females.

Moreover, the minister noted that over the last two years, a “modern system of support” has been put in place for firefighters, which includes a full package of life and health insurance.

This also addresses accident support, including specific payments for injuries such as loss of limbs and eyesight, and psychological support and is being provided at an annual cost of $500 million.

“It is our commitment to modernise our institutions of public service. The Jamaica Fire Brigade is one of the most important of those institutions,” McKenzie said.


Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at


  1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper; email addresses will not be published.
  2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.
  3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.
  4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.
  5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed:
  6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email:
  7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

Which long-term investment option is more attractive to you at the moment?