Nationwide News understands that majority of firefighters across the island want their shift arrangements that were under the Disaster Risk Management Act, DRMA, to become permanent.

Before the pandemic, firefighters worked an average of 8 hours and received 24 hours off duty.

However, under the now expired orders under the DRMA they work 24-hour shifts with 72 hours off duty.

One firefighter, who claims to represent the views of rank and file operational members of the Jamaica Fire Brigade, says they want the 24-hour shift to remain because of its convenience.

Suzell Wray reports.


Sergeant Leo Bennett of the Half Way Tree Fire Brigade told our news centre he speaks on behalf of 1-thousand-eight-hundred rank and file operational members who want the 24-hour shift to remain.

Sergeant Bennett argued that under the reinstated shift, firefighters do not receive days off. Some firefighters work from 7am to 3pm, 3pm to 10pm and 10pm to 7am.

He argued that firefighters do not get time to clean their personal work gears during the hours off duty.

He noted that under the 24-hour shift firefighters receive more time to fulfil personal responsibilities.

Sergeant Leo Bennett, Firefighter at the Half Way Tree Fire Brigade.

Meanwhile, the union representing members of the Fire Brigade say they’ve spoken to the management of the Jamaica Fire Brigade for the 24-hour shift to remain a permanent feature for firefighters.

General Secretary of the Jamaica Association of Local Government Officers, JALGO, Helene Davis Whyte says the management
of the Brigade is exploring this idea.

She says this would require changes to regulations under the Fire Brigade Act.

Helene Davis Whyte, General Secretary of the Jamaica Association of Local Government Officers.