Hinds: AC units at Fire Service HQ dorm being repaired

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

TT Fire Service officers stationed at its Wrightson Road Headquarters have moved their beds from their male dormitory to the appliance bay in protest against a lack of air conditioning in the dorm on April 24. – File photo by Venessa Mohammed

NATIONAL Security Minister Fitzgerald Hinds says action has been taken to fix non-operational air conditioning (AC) units at the dormitory of Fire Service Headquarters on Wrightson Road, Port of Spain.

He made this statement in response to a question from Oropouche East MP Dr Roodal Moonilal in the House of Representatives on April 26.

Before doing so, Hinds condemned people who were blowing the issue out of proportion.

“It behooves of me as a citizen and as a citizen with access to information that there is a group of persons in our country who can only be properly described as confusionists, bacchanalists and scandalous. There are those who take every opportunity to raise matters to raise bacchanal and scandal which gets in the way of the serious development efforts…”

Couva South MP Rudranath Indarsingh complained to Speaker Bridgid Annisette-George.

“What is the relevance of all of this to my colleague’s question?” he asked.

Annisette-George directed Hinds and Indarsingh to sit down.

She told Indarsingh that Hinds was responding to Moonilal and allowed Hinds to continue his response.

In response to inaudible comments from opposition MPs, Annisette-George told all MPs, “Excuse me. Just let’s have a little order.”

Focusing on opposition MPs, she added, “I don’t think as of anything prior to now, that any of these outbursts are intentional. Let’s comport ourselves properly and let us proceed.”

Hinds said the issue was the breakdown of AC units at the dormitory at Fire Service Headquarters.

“The matter was first brought to the attention of the Chief Fire Officer (CFO) by his assistant CFO (North) on Tuesday April 23rd, 2024. He (the CFO) immediately actioned the repairs to the AC systems. All parts were acquired by Wednesday the 24th (of April) and the work commenced.”

As of last night (April 25), Hinds continued, four out of the six AC units that malfunctioned were completed (repaired) and the other two are being serviced.

He said those units should be operational later on April 26.

Moonilal claimed the six units Hinds referred to were non-operational for the last three months.

He asked Hinds, “Are you aware of that?”

Hinds replied, “I have given information, according to which was shared to me by the CFO and I stand by that.”

He said,”Let me continue to say that those that are well-meaning, patriotic (people). Mean well for the Fire Service and mean well for the country. They decided in the circumstances to take the opportunity to clean out and to paint, self-help application as it were, the dormitory and that work is expected to be completed. by Sunday evening (April 28).”

The non-functioning AC units led to fire officers sleeping in the appliance bay at Fire Service Headquarters on the nights of April 23 and April 24.

At the time, president of the Fire Service Association Keone Guy told Newsday the AC units had not been working for the last seven months and that numerous complaints had been made to the management of the Fire Service.

On April 26, Hinds reiterated it was time to end the bacchanal and get back to developing Trinidad and Tobago.

Moonilal told Hinds, “In the context that the population is aware that the minister can fall asleep anywhere but the fire officers cannot. Can you indicate whether having fire officers sleeping in a parking lot is OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Act) compliant?”

Hinds replied, “As far as I am concerned, I will remain focused on the development issues of this country and will not be derailed by the bacchanal and scandal and confusion that persons outside of this Parliament know that they can use the parliamentarians here to execute and…”

He was interrupted by inaudible comments from opposition MPs.

Annisette-George promptly restored order to the sitting and Princes Town MP Barry Padarath was allowed to ask a different question.