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Fire service called to Ace

Fire service called to Ace

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At 3:45 on the afternoon of Tuesday, September 28, the fire services were called to respond to a fire at Ace Hardware store in Kingstown.{{more}}

The occupants immediately evacuated the Bay Street building, making their way across the street for safety.

The fire tender arrived a few minutes later, but then it drove off – the actions were all part of a staged fire drill, the first as the Royal St Vincent and the Grenadines Fire Department delivers on its promise to reach out to the general public on fire safety techniques.

For the most part, the employees did what was required of them, except for a few errors.

“Whenever the alarm is raised, you have to take it seriously,” Sergeant Charles Adams of the Fire Department explained.

“When the alarm was raised, people were moving out of the building too slowly,” Sgt Adams said, adding that in such cases, particularly with items such as paints and other potentially hazardous materials, it was crucial that persons evacuate the building in quick time.

“Get out of the building and into a safe zone,” the fire official contended.

Sgt Adams was also critical in his assessment of the roll count.

“This is done to make sure that everyone is accounted for,” Adams said, adding that in the case of business houses, it was crucial that customers, especially young children, were all accounted for.

“The preservation of life, that is the first thing,” he said.

However, Assistant Superintendant (ASP) Isaiah Browne, in his review of the exercise, said that he was confident that the wrongs committed could easily be corrected.

He added that he was completely happy with the manner in which the exercise was conducted.

“They will only get better with practice,” ASP Browne said as he encouraged business houses to conduct at least two fire drills per year.

Debbie Huggins, Division Manager Building Supplies for Corea’s Hazells Inc in expressing how pleased she was with the execution of the exercise, told SEARCHLIGHT that she was also pleased with the decision to conduct the drill.

“It is timely, although a decision was made long before the fire in Barbados (September 3),” Huggins explained.

She, however, said that the focus was now on the weak areas.

“We have some work to do, and then hopefully from moving from department to department, we will be able to work things out,” she said. (DD)