Meeting with Diver’s (Flat Bridge)
The matter of compensation for Divers at Flat Bridge in the Bog Walk Gorge is a longstanding issue and a sore point, hence the Parish Coordinator, (Disaster Services) Ms. Patricia Lewis, and Chairman of the St. Catherine Municipal Corporation and Mayor of Spanish Town, Councillor Norman Scott, spearheaded a meeting to have the matter resolved once and for all.
At the meeting held in the St. Catherine Municipal Corporation’s meeting room on Friday, February 10, 2017, Councillor for the Angels Division, Councillor Patricia Harris, said she is in agreement that some kind of compensation should be meted out to the divers for the genuine efforts in attempting to save lives.
Mayor Scott said, this Corporation is not able to engage the aspect of payment at this time, as there may be legal and other implications to take into account. Suffice it to say, consideration will be given to explore the idea of compensation on a case by case basis.
Requests were made of the divers for oxygen tanks to be provided which will aid immensely in the live-saving process. The mayor said this request will also be explored and also for them (divers) to be provided with Identification Cards.
HEART Trust NTA, Jamaica Fire Brigade, Jamaica Constabulary Force, the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management and the Parish Development Committee are entities who were present and whom will play an integral role in training and certification and additional support, going forward. All were in agreement with the decisions arrived at. This included Chairman of the Disaster Preparedness and Climate Change Committee, and Councillor for the Mount Industry Division, Councillor Roogae’ Kirlew.
"Flat Bridge” runs across the Rio Cobre River and forms part of the road through the Gorge and is only wide enough to accommodate single lane of traffic. It has no side barriers, only stone bumps. Consideration is now being given to erect rails at the bridge.