$28M fire station commissioned, emergency medical service expanded to Reg. #5
The Guyana Fire Service Monday commissioned the Onverwagt Fire Station and extended its Emergency Medical Services Programme to Region Five.
The station was completed at a cost of over $28.7 million and will provide assistance to residents along the West Coast of Berbice from east of the Abary Bridge to Rosignol/Ithaca.
The Emergency Medical Service was launched in 2016 and has since been serving residents as far as Cove and John on the East Coast of Demerara and Brickery on the East Bank of Demerara.
“This is the first time in the history of Guyana that such a service will be made available to the public outside of Region Four,” National Emergency Medical Director Doctor Zulfikar Bux said at the launch on Monday.
From the time it was conceptualised and put into operation, over 27,000 medical emergencies were dealt with by trained paramedics.
These medical emergencies ranged from people who suffered serious or life-threatening injuries to the delivery of babies while on the way to the hospital.
To date, there have been 27 deliveries by the EMS, Dr. Bux revealed.
This service, he said, enables public access by simply dialing 912 and having a team of trained paramedics dispatched to the scene to render assistance. An ambulance was also handed over on Monday to serve the residents of Region Five.
Meanwhile, Minister of Home Affairs Robeson Benn, who attended the launch and commissioning, noted that it is critical for services such as the EMS to be expanded.
Minister Benn said with many reports of road traffic accidents, properly trained responders “is critically important to save lives, to reduce harm, to reduce injury, to preserve life [and] that is the particular responsibility and mission.”
Despite challenges such as prank calls and the malicious setting of fires, Minister Benn said the Fire Service continues to have the full support of the ministry as Monday’s historic event and similar initiatives will be put in place in order to better serve and protect citizens nationwide.
Meanwhile, a plaque and ribbon cutting ceremony was held to commission the Onverwagt Fire Station.
Divisional Officer for the Guyana Fire Service Clive McDonald. in his remarks, explained that in 2018 discussions were held with the Mahaica Mahaicony Abary – Agricultural Development Authority (where they were previously stationed) to relocate the fire station to Onverwagt.
In 2019 the fire station was completed and in 2020 they officially moved into the building but it was never commissioned.