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All clear for grand opening

Divisional Fire Officer, Ricardo Gittens (left) and Station Officer, Tyrone Trotman on a fire inspection of Parliament today.

Divisional Fire Officer, Ricardo Gittens (left) and Station Officer, Tyrone Trotman on a fire inspection of Parliament today.

The Barbados Fire Service has given the all clear for tomorrow’s State opening of Parliament in the Senate Chambers.

As all hands went on deck today preparing for the major event, senior officers of the Fire Service toured the historic buildings to conduct a preliminary fire inspection, considering the large number of parliamentarians, dignitaries and other guests who will attend, as well as the amount of electrical voltage which will flow through the Upper Chamber via cables for lighting, sound, video and television broadcast.

“For events like this, we have to ensure that all exits are operational, that there are free from obstructions, that all fire protective equipment is in place and that it is functional. As a result of our inspection, all is safe for the event to go ahead,” Divisional Fire Officer, Ricardo Gittens told Barbados TODAY during a brief interview inside Parliament yard this afternoon.

Employees of Secure One Security Inc., were seen assembling the four security scanners, two each of which have been placed to cover both entrances to the Parliament complex.

Television, video and sound technicians from Merville Lynch Productions, the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation and A&B Soundz were busy on site as National Conservation Commission personnel off loaded plants to be used during the ceremony.

Next door in Heroes Square where Governor-General, Sir Elliott Belgrave will receive the Royal Salute and inspect the Guard of Honour, the fountain was undergoing a “spring cleaning”.

Within view of that, NCC general workers went about the business of ensuring the surroundings were free of debris and other unsightly material.

Tomorrow’s ceremony, which includes the Throne Speech by the Governor-General, begins at 4 p.m. and is scheduled to run like clock work. Every aspect of the proceedings is timed to the minute, with the public components being preceded by the election of a Senate President in the Committee Room of the Upper Chamber and the election of a Speaker of the House of Assembly in the Lower Chamber, starting at 3:30 p.m.

The Throne Speech will outline the Government’s programme for the current term in office. At the end of the ceremony, a reception will follow in Parliament Yard. (EJ)

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