Fire Service honour 54 persons who perished in fires

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To honour 54 persons who perished in fires over the past seventeen months, Tuesday was designated ‘Fire Victims Awareness Day’.

Throughout the day, firefighters from across the country participated in activities such as prayers, a minute of silence and the laying of flowers to reflect on those who tragically lost their lives.

In the evening, candle light vigils will be held.

Those remembered lost their lives between the period of January 2023 to date. Among them are the 20 children who perished in the Mahdia Secondary School dormitory fire. Tuesday marked one year since that tragedy.

During an interview with the News Room, Divisional Officer of Operations, Otis Charles said the overall aim is to raise awareness on the importance of fire safety and prevention.

“We dedicated today as a special day where all the different stations, the ranks will go out and interact with members of the public, disseminate flyers and so forth to all the different communities through the community,” Charles said.

Divisional Officer of Operations, Otis Charles

This is the first such event to be observed by the Guyana Fire Service and Charles said it will now be held annually.

According to Charles, one life lost is too many. So, whenever a life is lost due to a fire, Charles told the News Room that necessary changes are made to reduce the chances of recurrence.

This, he said includes a more proactive approach in fire preparedness, the use of equipment and human resources.

“We are doing more inspections of buildings with more recommendations. Ensuring persons follow the fire safety regulations, installation of smoke detectors, fire alarms, etc,” Charles told the News Room.

“Simple as having an alarm in your building can save your life, an extinguisher, how to use it can save your life,” he added.

And whenever inefficiencies are found, Charles said steps are taken for them to be immediately addressed.

To honour 54 persons who perished in fires over the past seventeen months, Tuesday was designated ‘Fire Victims Awareness Day’ (Photo: GFS/May 21, 2024)

“…If we find there is a situation where water would be inadequate for fire gathering, we try to establish hydrants. We try to have more personnel because human resource is a great factor in firefighting.

“Indeed we have learnt that past experience and we are trying to better our self in all aspect of firefighting and fire safety,” Charles explained.

At the same time, Charles said the public has an important role to play to prevent fires.

“We would try our best, our utmost to save life. That’s our first and foremost duty, to save life.

“We would just like to remind persons to be fire conscious so that you can be able to safe guard your life and your properties,” Charles said.

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