The Jamaica Fire Brigade is a Statutory Body within the Office of the Prime Minister – Department of Local Government. Its central administration is headed by a Board of Directors which sets broad policy guidelines implemented by a Commissioner in whom is vested the operational command and the day-to-day running of the Brigade.
The role of the Jamaica Fire Brigade is to protect life and property from fire or other disasters within the Island and its territorial seas. This role translates into the specific duties of:
1. Extinguishing fires.
2. Protecting life and property endangered by fire or other disasters.
3. Obtaining information with regard to potential risks from fire or other disasters.
4. Inspecting buildings to ensure that reasonable steps are taken for the prevention of fire and for protection against the dangers of fire or other disasters.
5. Making arrangements to ensure that reasonable steps are taken to prevent or mitigate loss or injury arising from fire or other disasters.
6. Rendering pre-hospital emergency medical care and/or treatment to ill or injured persons and transporting them to recognized medical institutions.
7. Carrying out other functions for the purpose of preventing or mitigating risks or danger to life and property as the Minister may, by order, require the Fire Brigade to undertake from time to time.
For carrying out its functions the Brigade is broadly divided into two branches. An Operations Branch and an Administrative Branch, each headed by a Deputy Commissioner.
The Deputy Commissioner in charge of Operations has overall responsibility for thefour(4) “Areas” which carry out the major responsibilities of the Brigade in firefighting and rescue operations islandwide. Headed by Assistant Commissioners, these Areas are drawn up along geographic lines for administrative and operational purposes. The Areas are further sub-divided into thirteen (13) Divisions which conform to parish boundaries. Presently there are thirty-three (33) Fire Stations spread islandwide throughout the Divisions. These are served by a fleet of ninety-one (91) operational (firefighting and rescue) vehicles and fifty-eight (58) utility vehicles. There are also three (03) Fire Boats, one each assigned to the harbours in Kingston,Montego Bay and Ocho Rios. The Fire Prevention and Public Relations Division and the Emergency Medical Service (EMS) also fall under the Operations Branch of the Brigade providing fire prevention services and emergency medical rescue (Paramedic) services.
The Deputy Commissioner in charge of Administration has overall responsibility for the six (06) Departments which provide administrative support services to all areas of the Brigade. These support services are provided through the Brigade Stores, the Accounts, Communications, Personnel and Training Departments. There is also a General Maintenance Department which comprises the Brigade Workshop, the Transport and Fleet Management, Building Maintenance and Equipment Maintenance Sections.