Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 12th 2015 Contents Minimum wage still to be reviewed --- McLeod News --- Page A6
TUESDAY, MAY 12, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
for 11TH MAY, 2015
President of the T&T Fire
Service Association Leo
Ramkissoon yesterday warned
citizens to do all they could to
clear their properties of any
debris which may facilitate the
spread of wildfires.
He made the comment as he
said T&T was experiencing one
of its worst dry seasons and the
service, on average, has been
dealing with as many as 100
wildfires a day. He said the harsh
season had led to an increase in
wildfires across the country and
on Saturday alone they received
173 calls from the Northern Divi-
"There were some fires over
the weekend and a couple of
houses were destroyed. Saturday
alone there were 113 bush fire
calls in the night and 40 calls
during the day from the Northern
Division," he added.
The Northern Division extends
from Sangre Grande to
Chaguaramas with 11 fire stations
in the division.
Ramkissoon said Saturday was
only one of many busy days the
service had been having since the
dry season began.
Belmont resident Salimon Jag-
gernauth s Layan Hill home was
one of two destroyed after a bush
fire ravaged the area on Saturday.
However, Jaggernauth blamed
the slow response of the fire-
fighters for her loss, saying they
took more than an hour to get
to their home because a fire ten-
der was reportedly sent from
Yesterday, Ramkissoon said
while the Fire Service aims to
protect life and property as a pri-
ority, many of the officers were
not able to respond to every call
"Life and property come first.
If there is a structural fire it would
take priority unless there is a bush
fire that is threatening property.
"The most dangerous situa-
tions are properties that are not
cleaned properly and have a lot
of overgrown shrubbery in the
yard," Ramkissoon said.
He said the bush fires on the
hills proved to be particularly
problematic because fire trucks
could not reach parts of the hills.
He said they were better able to
deal with fires in built-up and
settlement areas as the fire trucks
could access fires more easily.
"The officers are pressed with
a formidable problem. Daily the
Fire Service is inundated with
calls. The lack of equipment and
working trucks also add to the
delay in our response time," he
Ramkissoon advised the public
to be vigilant and report any fires
as soon as possible, adding they
should also seek to acquire fire-
fighting devices like a fire extin-
JENSEN LA VENDE
A licensed moneylender was gunned down
in front his Laventille home yesterday in
what police labelled a gang-related hit.
According to police reports, 44-year-old
Preston "Cocksy" Edwards had just arrived
at his apartment at Building 12 along Leon
Street, Success Village, Laventille, around 2.25
am when he was ambushed and shot in the
back of his head.
Police said money in Edwards pocket was
untouched but his killer/s took some of his
gold jewelry. Investigators described Edwards
as a "community
members of the
media at the
Centre, St James,
yesterday, one of
Kerwin Jackie, said
it was pure envy
and malice that led
to his brother s
He said yester-
day was not the
first time his
brother had been attacked and robbed. He
said he believed it was only because neighbours
began looking through their windows and
some ventured outside to investigate after
hearing the shots that his attacker/s did not
take all his jewelry and money.
"He was a businessman, a licensed mon-
eylender and was doing that for about four
years. He is a man who like party and was
coming home from a boat ride when this thing
happened. He was a cool going man," Jackie
said, adding that his brother was no crimi-
"Right now all sorts of things going through
my head and I don t want to say what it is.
I will just leave everything up to Allah.
Edwards killing has taken the murder toll
to 135 for the year, 30 less than for the cor-
responding period last year.
Man murdered after
Mother's Day lime
Firefighters feeling heat
Northern Division records 173 wildfires in a day...
Residents make use of a burst hose being used by firefighter to help extinguish a fire that destroyed
two homes in Belmont on Saturday. PHOTO: ABRAHAM DIAZ
Papa Bois Conservation director Stephen
Broadbridge also yesterday called for the
continuation of the moratorium on hunting
due to the extreme damage to the wildlife
which has been caused by the frequent
"bush fires" this dry season.
"They should leave the hunting ban
because of the destruction of the natural
habitats that is going on because of the
fires. These fires are causing a serious
reduction on the wildlife and raising the
moratorium will just add to the depletion,"
The current moratorium on hunting is set
to expire in October.
Broadbridge said if the moratorium was
raised there would be a continuous
reduction of the nation's wildlife until it
becomes fully depleted. He added that the
fires were also going to have a negative
result on T&T's tourism and the aquatic
He said the burning of the forest would
also cause flooding and landslides during the
forthcoming rainy season since there would
be a lot of loose soil that would get washed
away. These landslips, he said, would also
damage the ecosystem of many aquatic
Broadbridge also demanded that harsher
penalties be implemented for slash-and-burn
practices and that farmers be prohibited
from planting their crops on land that had
been cleared by fires.
Describing the practice of slash-and-burn
as arson, he said there should be a 20-year
jail sentence for setting a wildfire.
"When you burn the forest you are
destroying millions of dollars. That should
count for a large sentence," Broadbridge said.
He called on the authorities to start
"taking bush fires seriously" so that the
practice of setting fires were diminished.
Minister of the Environment and Water
Resource Ganga Singh also called on the
public to stop indiscriminately setting fires.
He said all fires should be reported
immediately to the hotline 877-FIRE (3473).
STIFFER FINES NEEDED
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