Yes I have to admit, firemen ARE hotter in Jamaica 🙂
I’ve visited and toured two fire halls in Jamaica; Negril and Ocho Rios. Both welcomed us with typical Jamaican hospitality. In Negril I was just walking down the hill from the home I was staying at when I noticed the station. So I just decided to walk in and ask if I could look around. The firefighters on duty were more than happy to let us come in and hang out.
We met two of the on-duty firemen who looked glad to have some company. They put on their uniforms and posed for pictures, one of them slid down the pole to entertain us and we just sat and chatted for a while. They actually invited us back the next day to play dominos, which is really popular game in the Caribbean.
On a separate trip 4 months after touring the Negril fire station, I was staying in Ocho Rios. It was our second night in Ochi when we met another firefighter completely by accident, as posted here in my Oceans 11 post. After meeting and hanging out with Adrian, the firefighter, he invited us to the Ocho Rios station whenever we felt like having a tour. So about a week later we made our way over there and met several of the on-duty firefighters that night.
He brought us into the station and gave us a really comprehensive rundown of life as a firefighter in Jamaica. I don’t know why I was expecting it to be any different from the same job in North America, but it all pretty much sounded the same. He let us sit in the truck for pictures, explained to us the area this station covers – which to my surprise was quite a large area, stretching into the next parish of St Mary. Fire stations aren’t as widespread in Jamaica which is unfortunate because that would make for worse response times.
Since I read Jamaican newspapers every day and keep up with the happenings there, I have a great deal of respect for what firefighters do on a regular basis in Jamaica. Traffic accidents and fatalities are rather high due to poor road conditions in some areas and I have no doubt these guys keep busy with their jobs.
I still keep in touch on a regular basis with Adrian as well. He’s turned into one of our great friends on the island.