Moonilal: No trucks to fight fire in Penal

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Oropouche East MP Dr Roodal Moonilal – Photo courtesy Parliament

The Fire Service is currently working to outfit the Penal Fire Station with a tender. On March 30, Oropouche East MP Dr Roodal Moonilal said fires in the area over the last two weeks highlighted the urgent need for a tender at the station.

Responding to the call in a brief WhatsApp message, Chief Fire Officer Arnold Bristo told Newsday:

“As I speak with you, that matter is being is being addressed.”

“That is as much as I can say on the issue at this time.”

The station was opened in March 2020 and cost taxpayers $71 million. However, is has since been heavily criticised for its lack of appliances.

In his release, Dr Moonilal said families in Penal, Barrackpore and surrounding areas have lost their homes “because the Government has refused to outfit the station with fire-fighting equipment.”

“The station at Clarke Road remains just a building, and units from Princes Town and Mon Repos, San Fernando respond to fires in Penal and environs,” he said.

“The Government has offered various excuses and pretexts for not outfitting the station, the most recent being that the equipment is on the port.

“With typical PNM prejudice, the Government has displayed similar callousness to outfitting other fire stations constructed by Ms. Persad- Bissessar’s Administration. I call on the authorities to move with haste to assign a tender to the Penal Station to properly serve the large catchment communities.”

On March 27, Sherry Dabiedeen and her family lost their Mussarap Trace, Barrackpore home.

On March 23, Zaiyda Mohammed and her family lost their Julien Branch Trace, Penal home.