(CNS): Better coordination between the RCIPS and the Cayman Islands Fire Service, as well as technical advances and new equipment, have played a part over the last few weeks in improving the effectiveness of the two critical emergency services. The police and fire fighters worked very closely last month at two serious fires at the George Town landfill and a bush fire in East End, with the help of the RCIPS helicopter’s recent enhancements. The chopper was able to beam live infrared video footage to fire crews, allowing them to pinpoint the areas burning and focus their firefighting response.
“In the case of the landfill fire, we did not have a clear view of the fire from our ground position,” Chief Fire Officer David Hails said. “The video footage from the helicopter was a fantastic tool to help us determine the size of both fires and formulate effective strategies for extinguishing them.”
The video footage also contributed to the overall safety of the fire officers involved in both incidents, as it provided information about the swath and heat of the fires.
Chief Hails said the Cayman Islands Fire Service continues to improve its overall effectiveness of in-shore search and rescue capability with the recent additions like the rigid inflatable boat, wave runners and rescue boards.
“The training we received from the Joint Marine Unit enabled fire officers to provide this kind of emergency response on the water,” he explained. “To date 28 fire officers have received hands-on training as to how to operate the life-saving equipment. We can now strengthen their rescue efforts while the RCIPS support our firefighting.”
The police and fire services also joined forces when responding to marine incidents at the governor’s farewell fleet review. CIFS, which had launched its lifeboat for the first time, was called to an emergency removal of a sick person to shore and helped in marine search for a person in distress offshore in South Sound.
“When the RCIPS and the fire service collaborate in this manner, the positive impact on public safety is evident as it increases efficiency and reduces risk to the community,” said Home Affairs minister Tara Rivers, as she commended their work. “This close working relationship is leveraged even further by their utilisation of new technologies that enable targeted interventions which minimise the impact of emergencies.”
Commissioner of Police Derek Byrne said, “These incidents provide examples of the kind of interoperability among first responders that we have been training toward. We are reinforcing each other’s efforts for the benefit of everyone’s safety on the islands.”
Premier Alden McLaughlin, who is responsible for the police budget, applauded the CIFS and the RCIPS for enhancing preparedness, response and recovery for public safety missions, said, “Government supports our uniform branches and has committed budget and resources for the Cayman Islands Fire Service and the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service.”
Category: Local News