AS government works to expand critical services in developing communities, a new $37 Million Fire station at Eccles, East Bank Demerara (EBD) was, on Wednesday, commissioned.
The New Fire Station, located just opposite the Eccles Nursery School, is expected to cater to the community and surrounding villages on the East Bank corridor.
At the commissioning, Home Affairs Minister, Robeson Benn, delivering feature remarks, stated that the opening of the new station speaks volumes as it relates to what the government had envisaged in terms of protecting the property, lives and livelihoods of Guyanese.
He noted that, while those strides were being made, there were still some challenges related to access to some areas, the concentration of homes and businesses, and also the widespread demand of the fire department’s services across the country.
As such, the Home Affairs Minister indicated that while the commissioning of the new fire station was one to be celebrated, the government had been working to expand the Guyana Fire Service’s reach in developing communities and towns like Lethem, Mabaruma and Mahdia.
“The fact that we are coming here to Eccles to open a new fire station speaks to the fact that we want to make sure that we optimize on the proper use of taxpayers’ money.
Minister Benn was pleased to see the station completed as he had visited several times during the construction process. Beyond the structure, he mentioned that there will be a fire tender and 24/7 complement of firefighters stationed there.
The tender process for the construction of the fire station began in March 2021 with the contract being awarded to Kawal Ramdeen General Construction and Office Supplies to the sum of $37.8 Million.
It was noted that the project began on June 11, 2021 with a duration of 6 months and concluded on December 11, 2021.
The new station consists of four living quarters for male and female firefighters and Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) staff. There are also external storage facilities on the building
Meanwhile, Fire Chief (ag), Gregory Wickham, noted that the establishment of the facility to offer services to the community and its surrounding areas can only be seen as positive.
He noted that it came after some feasibility studies were done as it related to the ideal area to service and establish a station. To that end, he added that before making the decision, the administration considered the number of structures and businesses within the developing area.
Fire Chief (ag) Wickham said the communities can rest assured that the station will provide a high level of professional service.