The entire parish of Trelawny, which is 874 km² in size, now has only one working fire truck. This means that if two fires break out at once in the parish, one will have to burn without help, except assistance comes from a neighbouring parish.
The Falmouth Fire Station – the only such facility in Trelawny, which has more than 33,000 homes and a number of large hotels – is woefully short of resources to effectively respond to emergencies across the entire parish.
The state-of-the-art facility, which was rebuilt at a cost of approximately $100 million ahead of the 2007 ICC Cricket World Cup, when Trelawny hosted the opening ceremony, was then equipped with two fire trucks and two ambulances.
At the time, the facility was hailed as a model for future construction of fire stations across the island. Twelve years later, it is facing a serious crisis as only one fire truck is operational and both ambulances are out of service.
When The Gleaner visited the fire station recently, the two ambulances were facing the wall instead of in the normal outward-facing position. “Once you see the vehicle parked like that, it is an indication that it is out of service,” one firefighter explained, as he also pointed out some expanding cracks in the building.