(CNS): Officials have found a fire truck in the US to replace the one that crashed on the runway at the Brac airport earlier this month and the replacement vehicle is currently being configured to meet the specific requirements of the Cayman Islands Fire Service. “The exact cost of the new vehicle has not been established at this time,” officials said in a GIS release, noting that a team from the Ministry of Home Affairs and the CIFS visited the manufacturer in the US last week to ensure the truck met the requirements and to agree on specific details.
The truck was damaged when it overturned on the runway on Thursday, 5 January, during a mandatory speed test.
“The vehicle manufacturer fully appreciates our need to obtain a vehicle as soon as possible and they are working with us to ensure it can be configured and delivered in the shortest possible timeline,” Chief Fire Officer David Hails said.
Both the driver of the fire truck, Acting Lead Fire Officer Jason McCoy, and the passenger, Acting Divisional Officer Garfield Ritch, were flown to Grand Cayman in the police chopper after the accident to receive treatment at the George Town hospital. However, the release stated that they have both now returned home to Cayman Brac but are not yet back to work as they are still recovering from their injuries.
As reported by CNS on Tuesday, the Charles Kirkconnell International Airport on the Brac re-opened for all aircraft last weekend, after CIFS shipped a fire truck to the Brac from Little Cayman to cover the loss of the truck from the Aerodrome Unit that crashed, and sent a smaller truck from the Brac to Little Cayman to cover services on that island, where the only commercial planes that land are Cayman Airways Twin Otter aircraft.
“After working diligently to move both fire trucks between Little Cayman and Cayman Brac fire stations, the Brac airport is now in a position to receive category 6 jet aircraft,” Hails said. “We shipped a larger fire truck from Little Cayman to Cayman Brac, as the jet carries significantly more passengers, and then shipped a smaller fire truck, that will provide adequate fire cover, back to Little Cayman.”
He added, “It’s unfortunate this was delayed for over a week due to rough seas, but I am extremely pleased the vehicles were moved safely and successfully by Thompson Shipping between Thursday and Saturday (19-21 January), enabling category 6 status to be restored on Saturday night.”
The fire chief also paid tribute to all personnel and departments involved in carrying out contingency plans to provide adequate cover under difficult circumstances.
“The teamwork and co-operation between the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Cayman Islands Fire Service (CIFS), Cayman Islands Airport Authority (CIAA) and the Civil Aviation Authority of the Cayman Islands (CAACI) ensured the transition was carried out as smoothly as circumstances would allow, and I thank all who participated,” he explained.
The investigation into what caused the crash is ongoing and reports from the RCIPS, the independent accident analyst and the manufacturer are still pending at this time, officials said.
Category: Local News