Brac fire officers flown to GCM after truck flips on runway

| 05/01/2017 | 95 Comments

(CNS) Updated 5:26pm: The police helicopter has transported both fire officers involved in today’s fire truck accident on the Brac airport runway to Grand Cayman for further medical assessment. Officials reported earlier that the truck they were driving flipped while they were conducting a mandatory speed test on the Charles Kirkconnell International Airport runway on Thursday, 5 January. The extent of the injuries to the officers, who are both with the Cayman Islands Fire Service Aerodrome Unit, is still unknown, and the Brac airport remains closed as no planes are able to land on the runway.

Officials said that an accident reconstructionist is currently conducting an assessment of the scene on the runway. When that is completed, officials will work to get the fire truck moved off the runway so operations for small aircraft can resume.

Cayman Airways Limited was notified of the current situation and is making arrangements to accommodate passengers who had plans to arrive on tomorrow’s jet in Cayman Brac, according to Government Information Service.

This morning GIS said that the Cayman Islands Airports Authority, the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service (RCIPS), the Cayman Islands Fire Service, other aviation officials and Public Works Department personnel were all onsite assessing the situation, and that the Ministry of Home Affairs was communicating with District Administration Officials in Cayman Brac, with a view to restoring operations at the airport as quickly as possible.

The RCIPS chopper, which airlifted the officers off the island, was used to transport Acting Deputy Chief Fire Officer Witney Tatum and the accident reconstructionist to the scene.

“The Ministry of Home Affairs would like to thank all private and public sector stakeholders for their expressions of concern for the fire personnel involved and for their support and assistance, without which this most unfortunate accident would have been much more difficult to deal with,” GIS said.

More information will be released as it becomes available.

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Comments (95)

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  1. Geego says:

    I hope those firefighters recover quickly and are able to get back to work soonest. There have been instances of rollovers in Grand Cayman and the Brac over the years. Has any investigation/research been done as to the cause of these rollovers whether they be maintenance issues, manufacturer issues, human factors etc. If so, has their been retraining, equipment change, modification’s to reduce the possibility of rollovers occurring etc. The trucks are expensive but the lives cost more.
    There’s revenue being lost and one has to ensure that just like in an Aircraft crash investigation, we act upon the findings, fix whatever needs to be fixed so that again, the chance of this happening again is minimized…’s called risk assessment.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Would any aviation experts comment on the use of water to extinguish a jet aircraft fire? Will not water spread a Jet-A fuel fire instead of extinguishing it ? Isn’t fire retardant foam used on potential jet fuel fires? I can understand water for handling general combustible products burning , are the local Airport fire trucks equipped with both fire fighting media?

  3. Anonymous says:

    Will there be a disciplinary investigation and if appropriate action taken? Of course not. Absurdistan.

  4. Anonymous says:

    The long of the short of it, is now Brac gets a replacement truck – and the politicians will explain how they “found” money in a special fund for it – go Moses Trump

  5. MM says:

    I have seen the fire trucks in Grand Cayman use the airport runway for training on a number of occasions in the past; I would say we should be happy they tested these officers driving abilities the way they did BEFORE allowing them on a public road.

    Obviously there is no other way or better location to test a fire officer’s skill and ability behind a vehicle of that size and weight – one must remember that a fire truck carries hundreds of gallons of water and the slightest bump or sway will off-balance the vehicle.

    Who was overseeing this test?

    What stage of a fire officers employment training must be reached before handling this vehicle?

    How long have the officers been employed with the department?

    Do they have any history or previous driving hours with these vehicles?

    What advice and discussion was held with the fire officers prior to putting them behind the wheel?

    Do they have Group 4 licenses?

    What is their previous experience with large automobiles?

    Have they ever driven a dump truck or trailer truck?

    There will obviously be a lot of questions to be answered during the investigative process; but until then, stop assuming.

    • Anonymous says:

      There will be be no answers

      • Anonymous says:

        If the (temporary) Acting Deputy Chief Officer is from the Brac and is part of the investigative team looking at the Brac incident – surely there would not be any perception of conflict of interest?

  6. Anonymous says:

    They probably hit a soldier crab or something.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I googled “fire trucks speed test”. Nothing. Hope the injured firefighters are all right.

  8. Rob says:

    What speed did they reach? Did they make a sharp turn or something? Was there oil on the runway? Did they swerve to avoid crushing a Rock Iguana? What caused this accident?

  9. Anonymous says:

    It would have been nice if they could have found a better way to fail the speed test.

  10. luxury says:

    She won’t be outing any fires any time soon.

  11. “Keep it classy cayman brac”

  12. Cayguy says:

    Most excitement i’ve seen in the brac ever!

  13. Anonymous says:

    Mandatory speed test? Mandated by who? Do any other airport fire services in the world require speed tests like this?

  14. anonymous says:

    thank god they are ok

  15. Anonymous says:

    Yes, but is turning at high speeds part of the test?

  16. Anonymous says:

    uh-oh spaghettio’s…..

  17. Veritas says:

    To be frank, humanity and compassion are selectively applied depending on the nationality of the victims. Obviously we should all be concerned about their welfare but assuming there was no mechanical problem then in the absence of any other valid reason for the complete flip (cow on the runway?), then some criticism is surely due even from the faithful. Writing off a truck worth hundreds of thousands of dollars and closing the runway to all traffic are serious matters.

  18. Anonymous says:

    It’s those new Canadian/European firetrucks. The mandatory speed tests were conducted in mph instead of kph.

    • Jotnar says:

      Funny but logically bollocks. If the speedo was in kph, as they are in Canada and Europe, they would have been going slower.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Admirable men doing an admirable job. Accidents happen.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Calm down everyone. This is whe we have tests.

    • Bob Ware says:

      Forget calming down
      No statements have been made about us getting another truck here on this island.
      No large jet will be landing until a new replacement for the wrecked truck has happened.
      The cost was $300,000. That is alot of money.
      It takes forever for things to happen in a small place like this island.
      The hotel might not get the regular number of customers with flights from small planes only.
      The Saab plane is at best another puddle jumper.
      We need things happening yesterday because this is a disaster for Cayman Brac in terms of our economy here.

  21. Anonymous says:

    I always thought the speed test for a fire truck was how fast the water flowed from the pump.

    I would be very curious to see the requirements of this annual test. Is it acceleration? Top speed? Slalom? Cornering? You can’t roll a truck testing the first two.

    This definitely calls for an independent review.

    • Jotnar says:

      Not sure if the same standards apply here, but in Canada there is an annual requirement for insurance purposes to certify the acceleration and top speed of a fire truck, as well as pump performance and all the other equipment checks. As for flipping a vehicle carrying fluids, agree that swerving or cornering it would be a possible cause, but I would suggest that other factors such as a burst tyre or suspension failure are at least possible causes. May be best to leave it to the accident enquiry in the first instance, tempting though it is to form a conclusion on instinct.

    • Anonymous says:

      Theoretically you could roll a vehicle if the top speed were to reach the speed of light.

  22. Anonymous says:

    So I assume the Jet’s have stopped flying until another truck can replace this wrecked one, and why weren’t there three trucks in place on the island to backup the situation in case something like this happened, guess they will have to trade in some of those many expensive double cab Toyota Hulix’s been bought, god I wish Caymanians at some point start taking seriously what is important, equipment to do the necessary jobs not fancy cars to drive the bosses around.

    • Anonymous says:

      Take advantage and take the airport of the international list. Make it an uncontrolled airport like anywhere else would be.The cost of maintain the certification for an island of 2000 is ridiculous.
      I fire engine could cover the airport and 1 for domestic.

    • Anonymous says:

      I’d like a decent Hilux , can you let me know when the auction is?

  23. Jennifer Ebanks says:

    No matter what we talking about humans someones son someone’s brother someone’s Dad omg where the love gone. What u sow u reap be careful what u speak. Speedy recovery .Two very good firemen.

  24. Anonymous says:

    two to one the driver did not understand that liquid shifts in a truck when it takes a corner. I think the same thing happened a t Owens a few years ago

    • Anonymous says:

      Also, corners of roads are often banked to help with turning, but runways are normally sloped away from the center to help with water drainage. That few degrees of slope can make a big difference when you are going fast enough.

    • Anonymous says:

      2 to 1 you’re not an genius, you just play one on CNS.

  25. Anonymous says:

    glad they are ok and it wasnt any worth

  26. Anonymous says:

    Just how does one go about mistaking a firetruck for a flippin airplane?

  27. Anonymous says:

    Ok bobo, all the water is out of the tank now we should be able to get her to lift off…oooooops.

  28. Anonymous says:

    each and everyone of you who had something to say negative, should have been in that truck….our island would be a better place!
    Lets take into consideration that during these required tests, the trucks are carrying 3000 gallons of water at a minimum speed of 50 miles per hour.
    This is a blameless act of an accident…which can happen in any real-life scenario!!!!

    Do yourself a favour (since 2017 doesnt seem to be at your favour)…Take your ignorance with you and drive off the bluff. The sooner we get rid of people like you all, we have hope to actually be a community!

    • Anonymous says:

      These trucks are obviously dangerous and should be removed from service as it is the second such occurrence. Why are we putting firemen at risk when they already have enough risk to take without their own equipment killing them.

      • Jotnar says:

        Perhaps we should find out why the truck flipped before asserting that the equipment is dangerous, noting that two entirely separate incidences do not mean that the cause is the same, and that external causes are a potential issue as well as equipment failure or driver error. You may as well argue that all Boeing 777s should be removed from service because of the loss of MH17 and MH370. You are no different to the bloggers here automatically assuming its the firefighters to blame – different scapegoat, but no facts in either case.

        • Anonymous says:

          The two 777s you mention fell out of the sky because humans caused it to happen. Unsafe conditions are regularly found with aircraft and addressed through an airworthiness directive process and aircraft are regularly removed from service to correct the unsafe condition.

          • Diogenes says:

            His point exactly. The OP assumes equipment failure and suggests the removal of the other trucks, but before considering human action or outside agency. No one pulls an aircraft type out of service without establishing the basis first.

    • Anonymous says:

      And they are trained firefighters 6.11. They should know how to drive with 3000 gallons on board.If they don’t then you have to question if you should be using the airports at all! So put that in your righteous pipe and smoke it. Firkin idjit.

      • ANON says:

        Get off the computer and get a life you pathetic keyboard troll! Got so much mouth and knows it all sitting behind a computer but I bet in real life you are nothing but a sad wanna be. Accidents happen. You were not there and you don’t know what happened either, only what you have read like the rest of us. So I’d say you are the “FIRKIN IDJIT”.

        • Anonymous says:

          Suspect you failed all your school exams 9.26, and you can’t fix stupid or argue with those so blind they don’t want to see.

    • Anonymous says:

      I am quite certain there is no place on Cayman Brac where it is safe to drive a sports car at 50 miles per hour, let alone a fire truck carrying 3000 gallons of water.

    • Anonymous says:

      There is no speed limit in Cayman Brac of 50mph so there is no reason for the truck to be going at any time at that speed. It is against the law for any emergency vehicle, under any circumstances, to be exceeding the mandated speed limit. This is something that has been complained about repeatedly to the police in the Brac, but nothing happens. Its like the Brac ambulance speeding all the time and in the middle of the road. This is illegal and not normal practice for an emergency vehicle. Emergency vehicles and their personnel are no use to anyone if they get in an accident heading to an emergency and the vehicle is damaged and personnel injured.

      • Anonymous says:

        “It is against the law for any emergency vehicle, under any circumstances, to be exceeding the mandated speed limit” Where in the law can that be found?

    • Anonymous says:

      and just like that… *POOF* $300,000- destroyed.

      • Anonymous says:

        And probably another 300000 for the helicopter trip to cayman brac.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes, but we are saving millions by not being able to fly empty jets to and from the Brac as a result. We should give them some credit for that.

        Hope they recover quickly.

    • Veritas says:

      6.11pm how can you claim “blameless” without all the facts.
      I don’t think anyone on this island has heard of a fire engine being flipped on a runway “test” any where in the world, yet Cayman boasts 3 such accidents. Please be careful you don’t drive off the bluff!.

  29. Anonymous says:

    Most of the young men in the states who join the Army do so to ‘blow stuff up’. I guess it really is just the same here 😉

  30. Anonymous says:

    Speed Test??? This ain’t your internet connection!!! What a pile of money this is going to cost, and those involved will be sent home with a pay raise, pending investigation. Vacation on top of a vacation.

  31. SKEPTICAL says:

    If they can do this on an airport runway, doesn’t bode well for manouvering at speed on a narrow, winding road.

  32. Anonymous says:

    Its really sad to see how heartless some people are when they comment here. Thankfully no lives were lost in this incident and we must all remember that accidents can happen to anyone including ourselves.

    • Anonymous says:

      Well written!!

      I shake my head in disgust every time some news comes out about the Brac and some morons are so quick to start the Brac bashing. I am even more appalled when I had to sit and listen to individuals taking this matter for a big joke earlier when it could’ve been their sons, fathers, husbands or relatives in that truck who could’ve lost their lives today. I pray and ask God every day to grant me the strength to keep my mouth shut whenever I find myself in a position where I am exposed to the ridicule and sarcasm that Brackers are subjected to at times like this. You people on here spewing all of this negativity should be ashamed of yourselves! Just remember karma never loses an address.

      • Anonymous says:

        Is this the God fearing lady that paved all those driveways at our expense?

        • Anonymous says:

          No that was your mother

          • Anonymous says:

            Signed: A pissed soldier crab. Save some of that fat for the frying pan honey.

            • Anonymous says:

              Stupid as they come. Hope you’re not one of them that ran to the Brac with your suitcases and unruly children bawling and looking for shelter after Hurricane Ivan. Betcha you’re running in to Kirk’s and Foster’s every day when your belly bites ya though. I’d love to meet pricks like you face to face one of these evenings when I’m having a cold one at Country & Western Bar.

              Signed: Not a Bracker but proud to be married to one.

              • Anonymous says:

                Tell you what. Be sure to wear your clown outfit and I’ll know who to look for at Country and Western.

  33. Anonymous says:

    I am wishing a speedy recovery to the injured people…..but did they have qualification and skills for the “speed” test?

  34. Anonymous says:

    Gives them something to do on the Brac I suppose…..

    • Anonymous says:

      Well you don’t seem to have too much to do if you’re on here posting a load of crap. Maybe you should check the fire service to find out if they’re looking to hire.

  35. Uncivil Servant says:

    Next thing you hear they’ll transferred to become vehicle inspectors. Another glorious day in the Civil Service for Sonia and Frank.

  36. Anonymous says:

    When your girls calls you have to answer. Damn…where did I put my phone.

  37. Anonymous says:

    Have to give it to the fire service for the upkeep they do on their vehicles as incidents as such are rare. There have been times when the only government boat working on the Island belonged to the fire department. Accidents will happen but preferably not with such an expensive truck. Good job firefighters! Just drive mandatory slow tests first before you go fast.

  38. Anonymous says:

    cayman wonderland at its best……

  39. Anonymous says:

    pay rises all round please…..

    thanks for the laughter…

  40. Anonymous says:


  41. A Nonny Mouse says:

    This is not the first time this has happened on the Brac Runway!

    • Anonymous says:

      Yep there’s one sitting in Scott’s Quarry since it rolled in the 90’s. I guess this one was around 8 years old and just had to get rolled over.

  42. Veritas says:

    This happened many years ago at Owen Roberts when the diver was attempting to turn at speed on the runway, and the fire engine was written off. Do the police cars and ambulances have “mandatory speed tests?, this sounds like yet another Government cover up.

    • Inspector Clouseau says:

      Those trucks are meant to be used should their be a crash landing at the airport. Last thing you want is a fire truck that can’t make it there in time to extinguish the fire because it was slow to arrive.

      You commenters are generally ignorant with your commentary and know very little and then on top of that, find something very funny when this could’ve ended far worse for the crew.

      • Anon says:

        You can throw a rock from the fire station to the airport terminal. Speed is really not an issue here.

        • Anonymous says:

          Why cant you understand the issue is the RUNWAY, and should a plane develop a fire, they must get there quickly.

      • Anonymous says:

        Well, she definitely not going to make it to any crash now. Talking about “can’t make it in time”. From 100 feet away?? The trucks are literally parked on the ramp. Stop making excuses for incompetence!!!

        • Inspector Clouseau says:

          100ft away??? What a joke. Litttle above 6000ft of runway but yet she’s parked 100ft away. Why do you drive above 40mph in a 25mph??? Give me your excuses now.

          • Anonymous says:

            why do police need to drive dangerously at 75mph to catch up to me going 40mph to write me a ticket for exceeding an additional 5mph?

      • Anonymous says:

        you make it sound like runways in Cayman are the length of Fast and Furious 6’s runway.

        • Inspector Clouseau says:

          Clearly you’re unaware of the lenght of the runway in the brac. Poor soul know the facts. Quick to judge without the facts.

    • Anonymous says:

      Oh for goodness sakes. Two people have been injured while at work, carrying out a test that is a mandatory part of their work and all you (and the previous posters’) can do is make jokes and cast aspersions? Don’t any of you have an ounce of humanity or compassion for a fellow human being? I’ll bet if a fire truck had to race at speed to rescue any of YOU, you’d be glad they had maintained their training. Accidents happen to all of us from time to time… leave these brave firemen alone. Smh.

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