(CNS): Government is splashing out almost $600,000 on a new bright yellow fire truck for Cayman Brac to replace the one that crashed during a test run on the airport runway last month, injuring two officers. Government officials said that Chief Fire Officer David Hails has signed a deal with Rosenbauer Minnesota, the US manufacturer, to buy the state-of-the-art Panther 6×6 truck for the fire station at the Charles Kirkconnell International Airport on the Brac.
Government officials said the CI$599,328 for the new truck came from existing funds in the home affairs ministry budgeted for a new fire truck this fiscal year, and this is the first new machine the fire serviced has purchased since 2008 and the first on the Brac since 2006. The engine that flipped on the runway had cost $425,387 when it was bought around 10 years ago.
According to a release from GIS, the truck will be fully equipped with all the essentials for fighting aviation fires, plus several advanced features never seen in the Cayman Islands.
“One new feature that the Panther has is a twin-agent fire extinguishing system, which will spray foam and a dry chemical at the same time,” Chief Hails stated in the release. “Essentially, the powder in the dual nozzle knocks down the fire rapidly, while the foam secures the hazard by laying a vapor-suppressing blanket on the fuel and helping to cool it. It’s also a fantastic tool for dealing with pressurised fuel fires, where we can use a water cone to contain the fire then use the dry chemical to extinguish it. This means firefighters can get closer to the fire and extinguish it under controlled and safe conditions.”
The CIFS will also receive free training on both the operation and maintenance on the fire truck, which was negotiated into the contract for the new brightly green truck.
“The Panther also has a driver’s cab with a panoramic view, full LED lighting and several other innovative features that will allow for maximum power, safety and functionality when responding to a fire emergency,” Hails said. “It is also fitted with a forward-looking infrared FLIR camera, which is a first on-board thermal imaging camera of its kind for the Cayman Islands. This camera allows the driver to see objects and casualties in restricted vision conditions such as darkness, smoke or fog.”
Chief Hails said he and his colleagues will fly to the US in the next few weeks to do all the final checks before the new engine makes its way to Cayman Brac in March. Once the final inspection is completed, it will take around two weeks for the fire truck to be shipped.
Meanwhile, the investigation into how the fire truck flipped over in January during the speed test is ongoing and the two fire officers injured in the smash remain on sick leave.
CNS note: The story posted this morning stated that the truck was green, which was the colour the truck was said to be in the GIS release and what it looks like from the pictures. However, it has since been confirmed that the truck is, in fact, yellow.
Category: Local News