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Macoya fire a wake up call

Published: 
Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The Prime Minister keeps promising us that if we give the People’s Partnership another five years in office, there will be a construction boom unlike any we have ever seen, chief of which will be a causeway joining Port-of-Spain with the western peninsula. My bad...I forgot Port-of-Spain and the western peninsula are joined already. 

What the Prime Minister needs to promise is that the PP will buy more fire appliances to put out bush fires before they burn any more homes and businesses. 

It took fire appliances from Arima, Chaguanas, Wrightson Road and Tunapuna to respond to Sunday night’s fire in Macoya, which caused an estimated $60 million in losses to a furniture factory and cost more than 170 people their jobs. 

According to the Fire Association president, the fire started in a building across from the furniture factory and in trying to contain that fire, the appliance ran out of water (it was half full but it doesn’t do empty).

“The absence of appliances at the San Juan, Chaguaramas, Santa Cruz and Four Roads fire stations also placed an additional strain on fire coverage because Belmont fire station has to cover the rest of the Northern Division...,” he said. 

It brings to mind these lyrics: “The roof, the roof, the roof is on fire, we don’t want no water let the m.... burn.”

It takes two years for delivery of a completely outfitted fire appliance, so if the PP starts now and it wins the 2015 election, it would have three years to boast about its accomplishment before the 2020 election. Then we would be on our way to fulfilling Patrick Manning’s quixotic quest to achieve first world status. 

The PM also needs to promise us that if we re-elect the PP she would scrap the lame-brained scheme to privatise the ambulance services, where emergency vehicles travel half way across the country to get to people who are dying. 

So while the PP is promising to build all these roadways and causeways, the very emergency vehicles we need to traverse those roadways and protect our lives are non-existent. Don’t bother to look to the PNM for help—it was the PNM who privatised the ambulance services. In an editorial in today’s paper under the headline “Welcome unveiling of PNM future vision,” there is nothing about the emergency services. What do we expect from a “future vision,” a past vision?

Gerard Johnson

Via email

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