More Jamaican women becoming firefighters; now make up 13 per cent of fire brigade - McKenzie
Local Government Minister Desmond McKenzie 

KINGSTON, Jamaica - Thirteen per cent of the workforce of the Jamaica Fire Brigade (JFB) is female, the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Desmond McKenzie has revealed.

Speaking Tuesday in the Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives, McKenzie said Jamaica is way ahead of the United States and Canada which have five per cent and 4.5 per cent of female firefighters in their respective fire brigade ranks.

McKenzie said that based on job application data, the number of female firefighters in the JFB is set to increase. He also said the strategic development of the fire brigade includes its expansion with highly skilled personnel.

He also boasted about the quality of the recruits joining the ranks of the fire brigade.

“In the last financial year, an additional 188 recruits joined the brigade as full-fledged firefighters. Their areas of speciality include nuclear and radiation emergencies, water rescue, electric hybrid motor vehicle response, and emergency medical technician training,” McKenzie said.

He noted that in the last financial year alone, more than 80 of the applicants for the job of firefighter came with first degrees and associate degrees in disciplines ranging from electrical engineering to environmental studies.

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