How to get a firefighting island in the Caribbean Sea.
The firefighting service, Firefighting Island, is in desperate need of a boost in funding to make it operational, after the Government was forced to slash its budget by $1.8 billion last year.
The island is a “troublesome water” and “highly-risky” area for a variety of reasons, including the fact it has a “high level of sediment and seaweed”, according to the fire service’s own website.
The problem is, it’s also extremely dangerous.
It’s a place where the water is very murky and there are no lifeguard stations to be found.
“The current firefighting effort has been in place for years and years.
This is just a continuation of that,” said Sgt Chris Pryce, the Chief of Fire Operations at the National Fire Service of Newfoundland and Labrador.
“There are so many variables and things we can’t control, there are so much potential hazards that we have to watch out for.”
The island has two main areas: “A” is the south-west of the island where there is “no risk” to life, and “B” is north of the south where there’s a “significant risk of injury”.
There are “very good” lifeguards on the island, but the island is “very, very dangerous”.
Pryce said the island’s design is “quite poor” and its main purpose is to “allow the fire crews to go on the water”.
“When you have water that’s so murky, it has an effect on your ability to detect water and to determine where to go,” he said.
The Fire Service also has concerns about the safety of its equipment, as well as the lack of funding for the island.
“They’re using the fire engines that are not properly maintained, the lifeguards that are wearing disposable uniforms, the helicopters that are really not up to par with the equipment,” he added.
There are currently 18 people working on the Island.
It was built in 1999 by the Newfoundlanders National Fire Museum, and it’s run by the fire services service since 2014.
Pryce hopes the money will come through soon.
“We’ve got to get that funded, we’ve got a very big job on our hands here,” he told CBC News.
He said the fire department is looking to hire more people in the future.
“If there’s someone out there who wants to be part of the team, we’d love to get them in,” he noted.
Pacey says the island was built for one purpose, but he says it has evolved into a “very dangerous environment”.
“If we don’t do something, then we’re not going to get to the island.”
There are still “many unanswered questions” about the island and it is “far from operational,” Pryce told CBC.
He added that while the Island has a large number of lifeguards, the island isn’t equipped to deal with a large-scale fire and said it “doesn’t have enough firefighting equipment to meet the risk.”
The service has been working to get the island operational for about a year, but Pryce says the firefighting operation is not enough to ensure the island gets a boost to funding.
“I can’t tell you how long it will take us to get it operational,” he explained.
The service is also looking to expand its firefighting operations in the next two years.
“Hopefully by the end of the year, we will be able to do something like this again,” Pacey said.