FREEPORT, Grand Bahama — After a long wait, firefighters in Grand Bahama will soon be moving into their new home – a state-of-the-art fire station that can also house law enforcement officers. According to Minister of National Security, the Hon. Marvin Dames, the firefighters could move into their new facility by mid-September.
Minister Dames, while on Grand Bahama Wednesday, August 22, 2018, took a tour of the new facility as local officers prepared to have their personal assets transferred to the new building. While this was not the Minister’s first time looking at the facility, it was the first time that the Minister was seeing the fire station with all of its equipment in place.
“We’re very pleased with what we’ve seen,” said Minister Dames, following a walkthrough of the facility, along with Minister of State for Grand Bahama, Senator Kwasi Thompson.
“We’re on target to open this facility in about two to three weeks and the Prime Minister is set to perform the official opening. We are very excited with the fact that we have gotten to this point. It has been a long time, waiting.”
Although completed a year ago, the fire station was left sitting unoccupied, as they awaited furniture for the building. There had been a breakdown in communication on the ordering of the furniture. However, Minister Dames pointed out that the long wait to open the fire station had nothing to do with his government.
He noted that the building will be dual purpose, accommodating police and firefighters. “We feel that this station is big enough to accommodate both entities, which will help to better serve this community, and by extension, the island of Grand Bahama,” said Minister Dames.
“Fire fighters in Grand Bahama are very excited about the opening of this building. I can recall as the officer in charge of the island of Grand Bahama back in 2011 that we had started the initial planning around this building; and to be standing here outside the finished product, it lets me know that we have come a long way.
“Fire officers on the island, since their initial fire station was destroyed, had been living and working in sub-standard conditions. As I said, it was while under the Hubert Ingraham Administration, the planning of this new station had begun. Our goal was to do what we could to improve the living and working conditions of the fire officers and police officers on Grand Bahama.”
Minister Dames noted that presently there are some 30 officers who are in training to become firefighters, comprising young men and women from around The Bahamas. He said that Grand Bahama has been made the epi-center for the training of fire officers.
The National Security Minister thanked Minister Thompson and his staff at the Office of the Prime Minister, along with law enforcement officials, who worked tirelessly to ensure that the new station was completed, properly furnished and ready for occupation.
“The Minister of State for Grand Bahama, the Deputy Prime Minister and the other members of Parliament for the island of Grand Bahama have all been pushing, checking and ensuring that we are all on schedule,” added Minister Dames.
“Because of them we are where we’re at with this new station and we are all excited to open this building so that it can properly service the residents of Grand Bahama.”
Minister Thompson said that the opening of the new fire station is really a victory for the people of Grand Bahama, in light of the fact that they have waited so long to have a fully equipped, state-of-the-art facility on the island.
“It’s also a victory for those officers who have endured for a very long time having to live and work in sub-standard conditions,” said Minister Thompson. “The good thing is that in spite of those conditions our firefighters have been working and performing their jobs without complaint. They should be congratulated because they have performed.
“So, I’m glad to see that we have gotten to this point and that in short order this building will finally be opened,” said Minister Thompson. “I know that Grand Bahamians have waited a long time for this and so we are all excited about this dream finally coming to fruition.”