The General Maintenance Department is headed by a Superintendent who has the overall responsibility for the smooth running of the various Sections under its control. The Department is divided into four (04) Sections with specific responsibilities:
- EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE SECTION
This Section is headed by an Assistant Superintendent who takes care of all motorized and non-motorized equipment on board the Fire Units. eg. portable pumps, generators, hoses, branches, hydraulic cutters, spreaders and power saws.
- BUILDING MAINTENANCE SECTION
The Building Maintenance Section is headed by Deputy Superintendent and is given the responsibility for the maintenance all buildings and furniture. This Section comprises of a Carpenter Shop, a Plumbing Section as well as an Electrical Section.
- TRANSPORT & FLEET MANAGEMENT SECTION
This Section is headed by an Senior Deputy Superintendent who is responsible to have all units licensed and passed and to see to it that each driver's license is up to date. It also provides maintenance scheduling, monitoring services eg. (Oil and fuel consumption) and accident records for all vehicles within the Brigade's fleet.
- ENGINEERING WORKSHOP
Headed by a Senior Deputy Superintendent, this Section has the responsibility to repair and maintain a fleet of one hundred and twenty-six (126) vehicles and two (2) Fire Boats. The workshop consists of several skills/trades eg. Mechanics, Auto-Electrcians, Welders and Body/Duco men.
CATEGORIES OF VEHICLES
There are different categories of units operating within the Brigades's fleet:
LADDER UNITSThese are hydraulically and electrically controlled units with ladders extending to a height of 75ft. They can be used as bridges in times of need. They are also used as stairways to escape a building on fire, to gain access to people trapped in a building, for a Fireman to gain access to a fire and as water towers. These ladder units were also designed with regular fire fighting capabilities.
SNORKELSThese units are hydraulically and electrically controlled with a boom height of one hundred and five feet (105ft) or thirty-two meters (32m).They are used to gain access to high rise building for rescue operations and as a water tower. These units were also designed with regular fire fighting capabilities
EMERGENCY TENDERThese units carry a hydraulically controlled crane to the rear and a winch to the front. They are equipped to get accident victims out of creashed vehicles within minutes.
FOAM TENDERThese are like the regular pumpers; however, they carry a single cab capable of seating three persons. The foam tender has a built-in foam system with a 3-6% variable mixing valve which can supply foam from either an onboard tank or from external source (container), using an inline inductor. This unit is mainly used at fires of a flammable nature; eg. petroleum products or paint.
NURSE TENDER (WATER TANKER)These units are the portable dams of the Brigade, they supply the firefighting units with additional water at the scene of fires. They have a capacity of 1500L of water in an elliptical tank
The Brigade has a fleet of two (02) Fire Boats, the largest which is docked in Kigston is a pneumatically controlled vessel with two firefighting pumps. It has monitors and delivery outlets to fight fires on land or sea. It also carries two tonnes of dry powder as well as a Co2 system to fight fires in confined spaces on board ships or smaller vessels.
The smaller boat which is docked in Ocho Rios is electronically controlled and is propelled by hydrojets. This boat has a firefighting pump which has to be primed using the hydrojets on the starboard sides of the vessel. It is equipped with monitors as well as delivery outlets and can be beached in order to fight on land.
Thanks for reading this section and I hope you have learned something about some of the functions behind the scene in the Jamaica Fire Brigade, and the function of each type of firefighting unit.