He said the upgrades to the first floor of the Virgin Islands Fire and Rescue Services Headquarters in Road Town is well underway and on schedule.
According to Honourable Rymer, following the devastation of the hurricanes in 2017, works were undertaken to renovate the second floor of the Fire Headquarters, which houses the administrative personnel of the Fire Headquarters, and that was completed in 2019.
“Mister Speaker, following an open tender process, which commenced in 2020; Metro Construction Ltd. was awarded the contract to undertake the renovation works to the Ground Floor of the Road Town Fire Headquarters. The contract in the amount of $332,206.73 was signed on March 2, 2021, and works commenced on site on March 22, 2021,’ he said.
Hon Rymer stated that the scope of works entailed demolition of existing floor and wall tiles, windows, doors, electrical and plumbing fixtures; Installation of new floor and wall tiles and finished floors, interior painting, installation of windows and doors, installation of new electrical outlets and switches, installation of new electrical light fixtures, installation of new plumbing fixtures such as toilets, urinals and showers, fabrication and installation of vanities and cabinetry; and complete renovation of the Watch/Command Room, installation of Air Conditioning to various spaces on the ground floor level.
“To date, the majority of the demolition works have been completed, and the installation of windows has commenced,” he said while explaining the importance of the ground floor to the overall function and operation of the VI Fire and Rescue Services.
“First and most important, it houses the Fire Officers in the barracks that serve our community. It is our intention to completely renovate the male and female barracks to ensure these officers have a comfortable working environment in which to work. Secondly, the ground floor holds all the equipment, apparatuses and material that support our Fire Officers, and we want to renovate these spaces to ensure the storage of these critical equipment and apparatuses are in a suitable environment.”
The ground floor also has the Watch Room or Command Room which is where emergency calls are received from members of the community.
“It goes without saying that this room is vitally important to the ability of the Fire and Rescue Services to respond to emergency and we will comprehensively renovate this space to include a new air conditioning system, new electrical wiring and fixtures, new cabinetry and countertops, and new wall, ceiling and floor finishes. The contractor has indicated that he is currently on schedule, and we anticipate that the works will be completed by July 2021.”
Minister Rymer also stated that in 2020 repairs to the various fire stations at Virgin Gorda, Jost Van Dyke, and Anegada were undertaken, and these repairs include replacing windows and doors, painting, electrical and plumbing repairs, and finishing works.
“My ministry is currently sourcing quotations for the procurement and installation of the roller shutter doors for the various fire stations, including Jost Van Dyke and Virgin Gorda. We are very mindful of the fire stations throughout the Territory and the role that they serve in protecting our residents and visitors, and my ministry will continue to ensure that continuous upgrades are undertaken to bring all these fire stations up to and maintained at an international standard,” he added.