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HomeNewsLocal NewsSKNFRS provides 2022 statistics; significant figures for wildland fires

SKNFRS provides 2022 statistics; significant figures for wildland fires

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by Eulana Weekes

St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN): The St. Kitts-Nevis Fire and Rescue Services (SKNFRS) reports that while 2022 was “generally a quiet season” in responding to fires and other emergencies, some memorable structural fires tested their capacity and resources.

The SKNFRS consists of six stations; the headquarters- Basseterre Fire Station, Tabernacle Fire Station, Sandy Point Fire Station, Robert Llewellyn Bradshaw International Airport Fire Station, Vance W Amory International Airport Fire Station and Charlestown Fire Station.

During the first Fire & Rescue Services talk show for 2023 on ZIZ with G-Cue, Fire Sub Station Officer II (FSSOII) Rommel Williams and Timothy Martin, Fire Sub Station Officer, shared detailed statistics for 2022.

FSSOII Williams said 2022 was a quiet season, especially regarding structural fires.

“For us at the Fire Department, I could say that we had a relatively quiet season, especially as it relates to structural fires. I believe persons are more aware and more conscious, so they are taking more precautions which contributes to that drop. We didn’t have anything significant in December, neither structural nor motor vehicle accidents. We had accidents but nothing that we needed to respond to cut persons out, and so forth. That indeed was a good December for us.”

The general data for the SKNFRS for the year 2022 shows that the Fire Services responded to 57 structural fires, 20 motor vehicle fires, five motor vehicle accidents, 285 Wildland fires, 143 other fires and 44 spurious responses or false calls.

Despite having a quiet year, in comparison to previous years, mega-fires and tragedy remain etched in the memory books of the St. Kitts-Nevis Fire and Rescue Services (SKNFRS).

“Just to highlight three of the more significant fires that [we had] and just so persons understand that fires like these there’s a lot of things that we have to take into consideration. Now these three fires [were], the school fire at the Joshua Obadia, that the school over at Molineux and there was the fire over at Christoph Habour that took us almost an entire day to extinguish, and there was that fire over at Rambury I think there were two fatalities. Those were three of the fires that would have really used quite a bit of our resources in the Fire Department. We had to pull basically trucks from all districts, even from the airport, leaving those districts open and kind of vulnerable. These are some of the decisions that we have to take.”

In the St. Kitts Division, the SKNFRS responded to 43 structural fires, while on Nevis, they responded to 14. Of the total 20 motor vehicle fires responded to, 15 were recorded on St. Kitts, whilst five were recorded on Nevis. The Nevis Division of the Fire Services were summoned to the scene of five motor vehicle accidents whilst, on St. Kitts, there was no request in that regard. Whereas the Nevis Division responded to five wildland fires, 280 responses were made in St. Kitts.

All other fires, which include that of lamp post fires etc., 128 were reported in St. Kitts and 15 in Nevis. There were 40 spurious responses or false calls on St.Kitts compared to four false calls on Nevis.

Standbys and fuel spills are generally associated with airports. Records show that there were four fuel spills at the Robert L Bradshaw International Airport in St.Kitts and none recorded at the Vance W Amory International Airport in Nevis. There were no standbys recorded in the Federation for the year 2022.

Meanwhile, a key observation is that the majority of requests made to the SKNFRS in 2022 were to respond to Wildland fires. Based on the data provided, these types of fires were most prevalent during the months of April to August. On average, June was the most active month for Wildfires, as per usual.

In 2022, Basseterre Fire Station responded to 95 Wildland fires between the months of April to August; 15 wildland fires in April,14 in May, 34 in June, 11 in July and 21 in August.

During those specific months, the Tabernacle Fire Station responded to 47 Wildland fires; 7 in April, 16 in May, 12 in June, 10 in July and 12 in August.

The Sandy Point Fire Station responded to a significant number of Wildland fires within the same period; 24 in April, 34 in May and 20 in June. However, there was a drastic decline in the month of July, with nine wildland fires and a further decline in August, where the Unit only responded to two wildland fires.

On the other hand, in Nevis, wildland fires were low in 2022 generally. As it relates to the period April to August, there were only three Wildland fires. Two were recorded in May and one in August. There were no wildland fires in April, June or July.

Meanwhile, in a quest to inform and educate the public on fire prevention, the St.Kitts and Nevis Fire and Rescue Services performed a variety of presentations, inspections and drills.

In the year 2022, the SKNFRS facilitated 31 Inspections, 37 Fire Prevention Presentations, 31 Extinguisher Presentations, 23 Fire Drills and 51 Public Information Sharing Sessions.

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