Fire Service Headquarters likely to be devolved; The Stabroek area congestion delayed the arrival of 8 minutes for the Fogarty fire

Last updated on Friday, 8 January 2021, 12:49 by Denis Chabrol

Central Fire Station to the scene of the fire at the Fogarty Building.

The operation of the Guyana Fire Service headquarters will be devolved due to heavy traffic congestion in the Stabroek Market area delaying emergency response, and the latest on Friday when fire tenders took eight minutes from Central Fire Station to the Fogarty building.

“That is also being actively considered – either to remove or, as we say, declutter our area around the fire service,” Chief Fire Officer Marlon Gentle told News-Talk Radio Guyana / Demerara Waves Online News. when asked if one of the plans was to relocate the Central Fire Station.

Sources said the plan would have to include retaining that fire station to respond to calls in the central business district.

The area is congested almost all day by parked minibuses, taxis, street vendors outside Stabroek Market and other areas in Water Street. Successive governments have spoken over the decades of either moving the dealers permanently or relocating Guyana Fire Service headquarters from the Stabroek Market area.

The distance between Central Fire Station and Fogarty’s is less than one mile, but Fire Chief Marlon Gentle said fire tenders took eight minutes to reach the scene. “We had some obstacles, particularly the movement of our equipment from the Central Fire Station area. It took us about eight minutes just to clear that area because of congestion, traffic and everything else, ”he told reporters at the scene.

The fireboat, acquired in 2019, and tenders from other fire stations also responded to the fire call.

As part of efforts to increase his response time from the Central Fire Service, he said discussions up to Thursday were being held with Home Affairs Minister Robeson Benn and other representatives to ‘disassociate the area. “” I know it won’t be a one-shot or overnight thing but we still have to work because we realize it’s an obstacle to moving in an emergency, not just fire (tenders) but ambulances and everything else

“This area is one of the high risk areas in the city of Georgetown where we know we have to have a very robust fire response whenever a call is made regardless of the situation,” said Mr Gentle, adding that was the case on Friday in response to the call at Fogarty’s.