Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 14th 2015 Contents Minimum wage still to be reviewed --- McLeod News --- Page A6
Saturday, February 14, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
portrays Aether Greek
God of Light to capture
the ancient category
during the NCBA
at Victoria Square, Port-
of-Spain on Thursday
GETTING IT RIGHT
Statements attributed to Media
Association of T&T (MATT) vice-president
Khamal Georges in yesterday's story on Page
A7, titled "MATT in talks on its future," were
in fact made by MATT secretary Akash
Samaroo, not Georges. The error is regretted.
We apologise to both Samaroo and Georges
for the error.
The operation of the Fire Services can
be severely hampered over the Carnival
weekend as the late payment of a fuel
bill to National Petroleum has led to a
fuel shortage in three divisions.
The shortage means firefighters may not
be able to use all their appliances if major
fires occur in these divisions, since they
will have to ration the little diesel they
The affected divisions are headquarters
at Wrightson Road, Port-of-Spain, San
Fernando and Tobago.
Up to late yesterday, members of the
Fire Services administration were working
hard to rectify the problem but it may take
a special delivery of fuel over this weekend
to alleviate their woes.
The T&T Guardian was told last night
that some of these deliveries were made
late yesterday and the problem should be
rectified by today.
Fire Services Association president Leo
Ramkissoon confirmed the situation yes-
terday at a press conference at the asso-
ciation's base, Edward Street, Port-of-
He said headquarters supplies the Wood-
brook, Belmont and Four Roads Fire Sta-
tions with fuel while it also was reportedly
low in central Trinidad.
Ramkissoon warned the problem was
so severe it could hamper any situation if
they were needed as it would affect the
appliances they would be able to use.
He said the search and rescue, fire and
other fire-fighting activities would be
"There is a shortage of diesel. There is
a problem with the non-payment with NP
(National Petroleum). How are we supposed
to go to the fire? Push the truck?" he asked.
Noting the problem would not be rec-
tified by merely providing fuel for the
appliances immediately, Ramkissoon said
they would like to solve the problem in
the long term and wanted an urgent meet-
ing with newly-appointed Minister of
National Security Carl Alfonso.
But Ramkissoon said that was not the
only problem which needed to be
addressed. He said there were insufficients
breathing apparatus (BA) equipment for
firefighters when they went out on duty.
He said it was not made public but there
were only four such devices available when
firefighters fought last Thursday's fire at
the El Pecos restaurant, Maraval.
"It (BA) allows us to enter an atmosphere.
It is as necessary to us as bulletproof vests
are to the police," he noted.
He said without those devices firefighters
eventually suffered from severe health
problems due to the inhalation of smoke
and burning chemicals that could even
lead to death.
Ramkissoon said in the event that any
of the 135 high-rise buildings across the
country had a fire the service could not
efficiently perform its duty.
In addition to the problems with equip-
ment, Ramkissoon said firefighters also
were disgruntled over their outstanding
Late payment leads to empty fuel tanks
'bligh' from NP
FIRE CHIEF RESPONDS
Contacted yesterday, Chief Fire Officer
Nyar Rampersad said they were rationing the
fuel and only going on critical emergencies.
He said requests had been made to NP but
they were unable to get the fuel. Rampersad
said the bills were paid but they were
experiencing problems with delivery.
"In Tobago, we used the money from the
Benevolent Fund to buy the fuel. We are
getting a lot of problems with the delivery of
fuel," he said.
Also contacted yesterday, National
Security Minister Carl Alfonso said he would
be corresponding with members of the Fire
Services to investigate the problem.
In a phone interview, Alfonso said he had
still not yet met with members of the service
since taking office.
"I am looking forward to meeting with
them. I have not officially met with them or
the association. The issue sounds like a
money issue. I will call them and be looking
into the problem," he added.
Alfonso also praised the quick response of
the firefighters at the El Pecos fire last week
AETHER GREEK GOD OF LIGHT GAIL ALEXANDER
The term of the Law Association s Council
(LATT) is ending this week and elections are
due next month, Law Association member Attor-
ney Wayne Sturge said yesterday.
As such, the body may wait until a new exec-
utive is installed to deal with the matter involving
Police Complaints Authority (PCA) director David
Some LATT members had been concerned
about the council's January release calling for
former Attorney General Anand Ramlogan to
vacate office while witness-tampering allegations
by West were probed by police.
After its release, former LATT secretary Donna
Prowell had protested the procedure used by the
executive to disseminate the release. Prowell crit-
icised the executive for not consulting the mem-
bership prior to calling for Ramlogan to step down.
Sturge said at that time he had received the
signatures of 25 members, which would have
allowed for a special meeting of the council to
discuss the matter.
However, he had said action would not have
been taken until the association's president made
Law Association president Seenath Jairam later
stood by the council's release and was also reported
to have said West should recuse himself as PCA
head following his claims against the AG.
Jairam reportedly said he, West, should consider
stepping aside because of the relationship he
shared with the police to avoid any appearance
of influence in the outcome of the investigation.
There had been reports that a subsequent meet-
ing of the council last week had discussed the
West issue, but no position was taken. It remains
there, officials say.
Yesterday, Sturge said there was no need for
the petition or special meeting on the issue again
since the council's term is ending and elections
were due next month. He said concerned members
would wait to see what developments occurred.
Meanwhile, People's National Movement PRO
Faris Al-Rawi said there was nothing wrong with
President Anthony Carmona's move to seek a
legal opinion on various positions advanced in
the Ramlogan/West issue.
Carmona took the action after Prime Minister
Kamla Persad-Bissessar said West ought to resign
or his appointment should be revoked as a result
of the matter.
Commenting yesterday, Al-Rawi said: "His
Excellency is entitled to do as he sees fit in relation
to any matter he may wish to address relevant
to the West issue and his appointment as PCA
"From my point of view, as attorney for Dr
Rowley in the civil litigation in which West is a
witness of fact, I can see no concern whatever
as to West's retention as PCA head."
While he trusted that the President would act
wisely, Al-Rawi added, "The President is immune
from suit but it isn't that his decisions aren't
reviewable. His Excellency bears considerable
judicial experience and strong advocacy and one
trusts he will act as he ought to."
West issue still
hot as LATT
exec's term ends
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