Brush blazes, road smashes keep firefighters busy

| 02/05/2014

(CNS): The myth that firefighters are sitting around playing dominoes for most of their shifts waiting for a call has been debunked by the release of a log from the fire service detailing the number of calls firefighters responded to in just one day. On Thursday 1 May crews were out on the road dealing with myriad incidents from a house fire started by an electrical short to brush fires across Grand Cayman. At 1:25am the day started for firefighters with a road smash between a car and a motorcycle. Crews called to the scene cleared debris and set about absorbing and cleaning the motor oil from the road to make it safe for traffic.

By 10:30am crews were battling with a large burning tree stump on cleared land in Batabano and The Shores area of West Bay. And an hour later another crew responded to a call from a restaurant regarding a strong spell of smoke. At the scene on West Bay Road the fire crew did a comprehensive search of the entire property to check for fire but discovered air-conditioning technicians were working on a handler unit in the ceiling and the scent of smoke from that was being sucked into interior of the restaurant . The scene was cleared and crews returned to West Bay Sub-Station.

Meanwhile, in Newlands crews had been called to a house fire in Democracy Drive off Moon Bean Street where occupants of the structure managed to put out the blaze which was caused by a TV shorting out. Crews conducted a comprehensive check of the home and mechanically ventilated it and the fire safety investigator was sent to the scene. The structure of the home wasn’t damaged by the fire but, the safety officer said it sustained minor smoke damage.

Three more brush fires kept fire firefighters busy throughout the afternoon. Staring in Prospect where a cleared vacant lot was ablaze between two homes. The fire crew immediately attacked and extinguished the blaze without threat to the structures on either side. Another brush fire on Spinnaker Road saw crews dispatched inthe evening but the fire burned itself out reports of another brush fire on Ranch Road in Newlands turned out to be a false alarm.

Facing considerable demoralization in recent years due to major cuts in personnel, missing pay and complaints over poor quality safety equipment, the home affairs ministry has set about a review of the service. It is currently engaged in a recruitment process for new firefighters and the hunt is also on for a fire service chief. Former fire bosses Kirkland Nixon and Roy Grant recently returned to hold the fort until a new boss is recruited.

An assessment by UK fire-fighting experts has also resulted in a report and a number of recommendations about how the service can provide better value for money to the public purse while meeting the demands from the community. The report has not yet been made public.

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  1. Fireman Sam says:

    I see no mention of their weekly early morning truck race down the runway. 

  2. Firefighter says:

    This comment is for the individual that talked about firefighters cooking wonderful meals etc…. How ungrateful and hateful can the people of Cayman be??? Was it not the firemen/women that fed hundreds of people on the island after Hurricane Ivan when people had no where to cook or even live… Yes we cook at times… But before the shift changes our duties are completed to hand the station and appliances over to the oncoming shift. Would YOU prefer we stay home and you use your garden hose when your house catches fire???

    • A.Gardener says:

      My colleagues and I went to work this week, we did our jobs. Where is the CNS article about us and our work week?

    • Anonymous says:

      True, because all the local cops stayed at home and 'protected' themselves. Thank god for Derek Haines and his commitment to the Caymanian people.

    • Anonymous says:

      You are so correct. Some of the best food that I ever ate was cooked at the fire Station after the Ivan Hurricane, and was prepared by one of the firemen and the Chiefs wife. I also understand that Mr Bryce donated whatever food that was necessary. Thank God that they had a kitchen and Firemen that could cook. We forget too easily. These same little humble people helped out in such a time without even being recognized for it. Even the Hurricane committee was fed including all the other big fish that was up stairs. Mr Nixon gave the instructions for the children and some elderly that was sheltering at the station to be fed first. Next in line was the Public Works and the Firemen. Stop complaining as we are again nearing another Hurricane season.The good ole Firemen was the first on the Road after the Ivan.

  3. Fyah Bun says:

    We live in a country where the Government spends a lot of money subsidising agriculture which effectively means Caymanian landowners employing Jamaicans and Filipinos to dig up provisions on grounds and setting fires that Caymanian fire fighters then have to put out. Your tax dollars hard at work………

    • Anonymous says:

      Bigoted idiot. What about all the lazy Caymanians who throw cigarette ends and glass bottles from their cars or who sit around opposite local bars getting drunk and leaving their crap behind for others to clear. What about those Caymanians who dump their yard waste opposite their houses and burn it without a care for others living around them?

      Or doesn't that fit your racist and dumbass view of the reality of Cayman?

      CNS, please stop idolising firefighters, they can be required to take calculated decisions on their own safety and can put themselves in harms way to assist others. But so do many other professions and we don't seetheir daily work schedule printed for the public gaze.

      • Fyah Bun says:

        Dear oh dear oh dear. Didn’t get the sarcasm I guess.

        • Anonymous says:

          For stupid sarcasm, read racism, or doesn't that apply if you think you're funny?

      • Anonymous says:

        At the same time after Ivan and the police deserted us they were there.

        Response afterwards polie got a significant increase in salary and the firemen nothing

        The people of the cayman islands shoud not forget

      • Anonymous says:

        Have me excused you wanna be Caymanian!!!!! Years back one could not see a bottle, wendys empty box or any other fast food containers, paper glasses etc on the road side. Now they are being thrown out the car windows wilfully so that some people can get the job to clean the road side.

  4. Anonymous says:

    The "myth" is not "debunked" by this article. This is an unusually active series of events. Normally there is an amazing amount of inactivity at the Fire Station, apart from maintenance of machinery and cooking wonderful meals. And yes, dominoes.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Double exposed, game for two!