Fire Brigades (CAP. 170 1
THE FIRE BRIGADES ACT
Arrangement of Sections
1. Short title.
3. Establishment of Fire Brigades.
4. Annual grant for equipment.
5. Constitution of Brigades.
6. Brigade may be placed under the Commissioner.
8. Appointment of police officers.
9. Police officers to be trained as firemen.
10. Command of Brigade at a fire.
1 1. Powers of commanding officer at fires.
12 . Powers of police officers at fires.
13. Power to arrest without warrant.
14. Immunities of members of a Brigade.
15. Special duties of officers.
16. Power to make regulations.
1 7. Offences.
LAWS OF ANTIGUA AND BAKBUDA
Fire Brigades (CAP. 170 3
(1 5th September, 1954.)
1. This Act may be cited as the Fire Brigades Act. Short title-
2. In this Act- Interpretation.
"Brigade" means a Fire Brigade established under
"City" means the City of Saint John's;
"fire engines" includes all vehicles, tools, implements,
hose or hose-pipes, appliances and apparatus
necessary for the maintenance of an efficient fire
6 ' owner" includes occupier or tenant;
"Commissioner" means the Commissioner of Police.
3. There may be established for the City and for such Establishment of
other districts in Antigua and Barbuda as the Cabinet may
by order define a Brigade or Brigades to whom shall be
entrusted the duty of extinguishing fires and protecting life
and property in cases of fire within the City or any such
4. It shall be lawful for the Cabinet, with the consent Annual grant for equipment.
of Parliament, to authorise the payment from the Treasury
of such annual sum of money as may be necessary to defray
the expenses of furnishing a Brigade with such fire engines
as may be necessary for the efficient performance by the
Brigade of its duties and of providing hydrants for the purpose
of extinguishing fires and all such other appliances as may
be required for the protection of life and property from fire.
5 . (1) A Brigade may be composed of any of the ion
( a ) volunteers;
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4 CAP. 170) Fire Brigades
(6) paid members;
( 6 ) police officers;
or of a combination of two or more of such categories of
(2) A Brigade composed of volunteers only, and the
volunteer section of any Brigade, shall consist of such persons
residing within the limits of the City or any other district
for which such Brigade shall have been constituted or within
one mile of the limits thereof as shall from time to time
volunteer to become members thereof and be approved by
the captain or other officer in charge of such Brigade.
Brigade may be
placed under the
6. It shall be lawful for the Governor-General at any
Commissioner. time by order in writing to place any Brigade under the
command of the Commissioner or of a Gazetted Police
Officers. 7 . (1) The Governor-General may appoint a fit and
proper person to be Fire Officer of a Brigade.
(2) The Governor-General may appoint from among
the volunteer members of any Brigade such officers, with
such titles and such order of rank and precedence as he may
8. When any Brigade shall consist wholly or in part
of police officers the Commissioner may, with the approval
of the Governor-General, appoint as many police officers
to such Brigade as he may from time to time think fit.
be trained as
9. (1) Every police officer stationed in Antigua and
firemen. Barbuda may be trained in the duties in connection with
a Brigade and shall be liable for service in any Brigade at
any time or in any place within Antigua and Barbuda.
(2) O n every occasion of fire every police officer shall,
if lawfully commanded so to do, act as if he were a member
of the Brigade.
Brigade at a fire.
10. (1) O n every occasion of a fire the operations of
a Brigade shall be directed by the senior officer of the Brigade.
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Fire Bripades (CAP. 170 5
(2) The order of seniority of the officers of a Brigade
shall be as follows-
( a ) the Commissioner or other Gazetted Police
Officer, where the Brigade has, under the provisions
of section 6, been placed under his command;
( 6 ) the Fire Officer;
( c ) the Captain of the Volunteer Brigade or other
senior volunteer officer;
(6) the other volunteer officers in order of seniority;
( e ) the senior police officer or subordinate police
officer attached to the Brigade.
1 . (1) O n every occasion of a fire the Commissioner Powers of
or other officer in charge of a Brigade may in his discretion- office, fir,,.
(a) take the command of other persons who may
voluntarily place their services at his disposal;
( 6 ) remove, or order any member of the Brigade
to remove, any person who by his presence interferes
with or obstructs the operations of the Brigade;
( c ) employ persons to aid in extinguishing any fire
or in removing furniture or goods from any building
on fire or in danger of fire or to guard and secure the
(d) cause the water to be shut off from the mains
and pipes of any district in order to give a greater supply
and pressure of water in the district in which a fire has
broken out or may break out;
(e) direct the closing of any street in or near which
a fire is burning;
Cf) generally, take any measures that may appear
expedient for the protection of life and property, with
power by himself or any member of a Brigade or person
under his command to break into or through, or take
possession of, or pull down, any premises for the purpose
of putting an end to or preventing the spread of a fire,
doing as little damage as possible.
LAWS OF ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA
6 CAP. 170) Fire Brigades
( 2 ) Any member of a Brigade, being on duty, or any
police officer may enter and if necessary break into any
premises or place in which a fire has or is reasonably believed
to have broken out or any premises or place which it is
necessary to enter for the purposes of extinguishing a fire
or of protecting the premises or place from acts done for
fire-fighting purposes, without the consent of the owner
thereof, and may do all such things as he may deem necessary
for extinguishing the fire or for protecting from fire, or from
acts done as aforesaid, any such premises or place or for
rescuing any person or property therein.
Powers of police
officers at fires.
12. All police officers are hereby authorized-
( a ) to aid any Brigade in the execution of its duties
if requested so to do by the Commissioner or other officer
in charge of the Brigade;
( 6 ) to close any street in or near which a fire is
( 6 ) of their own motion, or on the request of the
Commissioner or any officer of a Brigade, to remove
or to arrest any person interfering with or obstructing
the operations of the Brigade.
Power to arrest
13. The officers and members of any Brigade on duty
at any fire shall have power to arrest without warrant every
person who shall assault or obstruct or impede the officers
or members of the Brigade in the discharge of their duties.
Immunities of 14. ( 1 ) No officer or member of a Brigade acting
members of a
Brigade. reasonable and in good faith in the exercise of the powers
conferred upon him under the provisions of this Act shall
be liable for any damage resulting from any act done under
( 2 ) Any damage occasioned by a Brigade in the due
execution of the duties of such Brigade shall be deemed to
be damaged by fire within the meaning of any policy of
insurance against fire.
Special duties of
15. ( 1 ) It shall be the special duty of the Fire Officer
and officers of a Brigade-
(a) to maintain the discipline of the Brigade;
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Fire Brigades (CAP. 170 7
(6) to see that the fire engines are kept in good order
and thorough repair;
(6) to take proper measures to ensure that the
hydrants be open and the proper number of hose and
hose-pipes be attached thereto, and the fire engines
placed in such situation as best will secure the speedy
and effectual extinction of a fire.
(2) It shall be the special duty of the Fire Officer-
(a) at the close of every financial year, or oftener
if required by the Governor-General, to report to the
Governor-General in wri t ing through the
(i) the condition of the fire engines, hydrants and
other property under his charge;
(ii) the number and location of fire alarm stations;
(iii) the number of fires occurring during such year
and the causes thereof, or as near as can be
(iv) the number and description of buildings
destroyed or damaged during such year
together with the names of the owners or
(v) all accidents by fire which have happened
within the City or other district for which the
Brigade is established;
(vi) such other information or suggestions as may
in his opinion be desirable;
(6) to take cognizance of and to cause prosecutions
to be instituted either in his name or in the name of
any officer of the Brigade in all cases of infraction of
the laws for the prevention of fire within the limits of
the City or other district for which the Brigade is
(c) to enquire for and to examine all shops or any
other places whatsoever where combustible or dangerous
materials may be collected and deposited otherwise than
in accordance with some law authorizing the same; to
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8 CAP. 170) Fire Brigades
direct the owner of such place to remove the same, and
in case of such owner's neglect o i refusal so to do, to
cause the same to be removed at the expense of the
owner, who shall in addition be liable, on summary con-
viction, to a fine of two hundred and fifty dollars for
such neglect or refusal;
(4 to report to the Governor-General, through the
Commissioner, his own absence or the absence of any
member of the Brigade from any fire.
Power to make
16. (1) The Cabinet may make regulations generally
for giving effect to the provisions of this Act and without
prejudice to such general power may make regulations-
( a ) prescribing the requirements for the admission
of members into a Brigade, the periods of service and
of training, and the discipline, good conduct and
discharge of the members of a Brigade;
(b) prescribing the uniform to be worn by, the
hours and places of training and exercise of, and the
distribution of duties among the members of a Brigade;
( 6 ) prescribing the services required of members
of a Brigade and the manner of their performance of
(d) prescribing the classification and rank, and pro-
motion and reduction in rank of the volunteer members
of a Brigade;
(e) for the speedy attendance of members of a
Brigade with fire engines on the occasion of any alarm
(f) for the maintenance of a Brigade in a due state
(g) in relation to the insurance of the lives of the
volunteer or paid members of a Brigade;
(h ) in relation to the compensation payable to any
volunteer or paid member of a Brigade in the event of
his being injured while on duty, or to his legal personal
representative in the event of his death from such injury;
( 1 ) in relation to the gratuities and rewards payable
to any member of a Brigade for extraordinary and
LAWS OF ANTIGUA AND BAKBULlA
Fire Brigades (CAP. 170
meritorious services performed by him on the occasion
of a fire;
0 prescribing the manner and procedure of
enquiry into breaches of any regulations made under
any of the paragraphs (a) to 0, inclusive, of this
(2) Every member of a Brigade who commits a breach breach Penalties of for
of any regulation referred to in paragraph @ of subsection
( 1 ) shall-
(a) if a volunteer member, be liable, on convic-
tion before the Captain or other senior volunteer of-
ficer, subject to an appeal to the Governor-General, to
a penalty not exceeding two hundred and fifty dollars
or to dismissal from the Brigade; and
(b) if a paid member, be liable, on conviction before
the Fire Officer, subject to an appeal to the Governor-
General, to a penalty not exceeding two hundred and
fifty dollars or to a recommendation by the Fire Officer
to the Governor-General that he be dismissed.
(3) Where a member of a Brigade is a police officer-
( a ) he may be tried for a breach of any regulation
made under subsection ( 1 ) before the Fire Officer, and
in such case, he shall be liable, on conviction before
such Fire Officer and confirmed by the Commissioner,
subject to an appeal to the Governor-General, to a
penalty not exceeding two hundred and fifty dollars; or
( b ) if the said breach is an offence to which the
provisions of any regulations for securing proper
discipline in the Police Force, made under section 7 1
of the Police Act, are applicable as well as the provi-
sions of any regulations made under subsection ( I ) , and
the Commissioner requires, or such police officer elects,
that he be tried in accordance with Regulations made
pursuant to section 35 of the Police Act, he shall be liable
on conviction, to any of the punishments prescribed by
such Regultions for offences for breach of such Regula-
tions, and in that case the provisions of the said
Regulations relating to appeals shall apply to any such
LAWS OF ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA
10 CAP. 170) Fire Brigade5
conviction of such police officer as if such breach were
a breach of the aforesaid disciplinary regulations:
Provided that a police officer who is a member of
a Brigade shall not be liable to be tried more than once
in respect of the same offence.
(4) Every appeal to the Governor-General under the
provisions of paragraph ( a ) or (6) of subsection ( 2 ) or
paragraph ( a ) of subsection ( 3 ) shall be in writing and the
Governor-General after considering the appeal and the notes
of evidence and statements and other documents submitted
to or required by him in relation to such appeal, shall either-
(a) allow the appeal; or
(6) dismiss the appeal; or
(c) vary the punishment by substituting such
greater or less punishment as might have been award-
ed in respect of the offence.
(5) All fines inflicted under paragraph ( a ) or (6) of
subsection ( 2 ) or paragraph (a) of subsection ( 3 ) shall be paid
into the Public Treasury and if not paid within fourteen days
shall be recoverable summarily as a civil debt under the
Magistrate's Code of Procedure Act-
( a ) as regards fines inflicted under paragraph ( a )
of the said subsection ( 2 ) , by the Captain or other senior
volunteer officer or other officer deputed in that behalf
by the Captain or other senior volunteer officer; and
( 6 ) as regards fines inflicted under paragraph ( b )
of the said subsection ( 2 ) or paragraph (a) of the said
subsection ( 3 ) , by the Fire Officer.
Offences. 17. Every person who-
( a ) assaults or impedes or obstructs any officer or
member of a Brigade while acting in the execution of
( b ) aids or abets any other person in assaulting,
impeding or obstructing any officer or member of a
Brigade while acting in the execution of his duty;
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Fire Brigades (CAP. 170 11
(c) wilfully removes, or assists or is concerned in
removing any chain, rope or barrier placed in, upon
or across any street under the authority of this Act;
(6) not being a member of a Brigade, wears the
uniform of a Brigade at any fire;
( e ) obstructs the use of any fire plug or hydrant,
by placing or causing to be placed thereon or thereby
any matter or thing whatsoever, or in any other manner
Cf) wilfully damages or injures any fire engine, fire
plug, hydrant, fire alarm, or any other apparatus of a
e) without the authority of an officer of a Brigade
or of a police officer or of the owner of a building on
fire or in danger of fire removes or is concerned in
removin~ any furniture or goods from any such building;
( h ) gives or causes to be given in any manner what-
soever to a Brigade any false alarm of a fire without
shall be guilty of an offence against this Act, and shall be
liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding one
thousand dollars or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding