Brigade wants more fire trucks

Fire truck in action in Gray's Farm last year

The government says it is considering increasing the fleet of firetrucks that not serve the country.

This revelation was made after the Head of the Fire Department was invited to Cabinet to address the need for more firetrucks.

The Cabinet said it is giving thought to expanding the fleet by adding a “small number during a specified period, following a more detailed assessment of cost to be carried-out by the Fire Department.”

An increased number from 10 trucks, across Antigua and in Barbuda, to an acceptable count, in order to meet the growing requirements of the state is warranted, the Cabinet believes.

The rationale give is that as the number of houses increases, more apartment complexes and taller buildings are constructed, the Cabinet believes that more fire-fighting and emergency equipment needed by firefighters will have to be purchased.

It also blamed conditions brought on by global climate change that result in droughts that lead to bushfires; and other dangers, including multiple automobile accidents, that require special equipment which firefighters are trained to use.

Eight of the current stock of 10 working firetrucks span from 11 to 20 years in age, with two that are 3 years old, according to government’s data.

The life of a firetruck as specified by industry standards may be one decade, although the Department stretches the lifespan.

Based on estimates, a new firetruck, depending on its size and capabilities, costs more than $1 million dollars.

Used firetrucks tend to bring their own challenges, the Cabinet was told.

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