The Cayman Islands Fire Service (CIFS) has welcomed the arrival of three new aviation fire trucks to their fleet.
The Minister for Home Affairs, Hon. Tara Rivers, JP, joined senior leaders from the Ministry and the CIFS, together with officers from the aviation and domestic fire crews to unveil the new vehicles at Central Fire Station where they will support rescue fire-fightingoperations at the Owen Roberts International Airport.
The new vehicles received a fitting welcome including a motorcade from the George Town port led by the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service and a water canon display on arrival to their new station.
“I am very pleased to be part of this significant day for the CIFS. The government recognised the need to modernise the service by investing in equipment and facilities tosupport the men and women in their vital role to protect lives and property. The new vehicles are the latest part of our commitment to CIFS following the arrival of new breathing apparatus, extrication equipment and station bay doors over the past 12 months. New domestic fire trucks are expected to arrive before the end of the year which will complete another phase of the CIFS’ vehicle replacement strategy,” said Minister Rivers.
“The safety of air travel in the Cayman Islands is vital to our economy and the lifestyle we enjoyed before COVID-19. By supporting the CIFS aviation branch with this latest acquisition, we’re well-placed to safely welcome air arrivals and enjoy our collective love for travel in the future once our borders carefully re-open,” she continued.
"This is a momentous occasion for the CIFS with the arrival of their new fleet of state-of-the art aviation fire trucks," said CIAA CEO Albert Anderson. "Due to the potential of mass casualty in an aviation emergency, it is of utmost importance that the CIFS’ emergency responders who are the first to arrive at the scene of any airside incident, have the necessary equipment they need to safeguard the aircraft against hazards, particularly the risk of fire, to increase the safety and survival of the passengers and crew on board the aircraft.”
“We are extremely grateful to the Cayman Islands Government and our operational partners, the CIFS, for recognising the need and importance of these new vehicles and the critical role they play in helping to save lives,” he added.
The Oshkosh Striker 6x6 vehicles cost $978,374.20 KYD each and will replace aviation trucks which have been in the CIFS fleet for 15 years.
The state-of-the-art trucks have been specifically designed to rapidly respond to aircraft or airport incidents with the unique set of challenges associated in mind.
Designed for quicker acceleration and quicker deployment of extinguishmentmaterial compared to older models, the new trucks carry 3,000 gallons of water, 420 gallons of foam and 550 pounds of dry powder which can be deployed individually or in combination as required.
“Today is a wonderful day for the fire service, particular the aviation branch. The vehicles are fantastic machines and demonstrate the CIFS’ commitment to the safety of passengers and crew at Owen Roberts International Airport. I would like to thank the Ministry for their support with the procurement process which has enabled the first phase of the fleet update and we look forward to receiving the new domestic vehicles later in the year,” Chief Fire Officer, Paul Walker, QFSM said.
Aviation crews will now undergo tailored training on the new equipment delivered by the manufacturer, Oshkosh. During this time, coverage will be maintained using the existing fleet.
Once the full transition to the new equipment is complete, the CIFS will consider selling the old vehicles to a fire service elsewhere or keeping them to be used for training purposes.
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