Minister rushes to meet fire service commitments

| 23/03/2021 | 9 Comments
  • Cayman News Service

(CNS): With just three weeks left in office, Home Affairs Minister Tara Rivers, who is not running in the elections next month to retain her seat in West Bay South, is rushing to ensure that the Cayman Islands fire service, especially on the Sister Islands, gets the equipment and station upgrades promised at the beginning of her tenure four years ago. In an eleventh hour flurry, new trucks and kit have been sent to Cayman Brac and Little Cayman, with more on order, and following the approval of a business case this week, a tender has gone out for a contract to renovate the Brac station.

“From the beginning, this administration prioritised investment in the Fire Service to ensure that it was well equipped to provide world class, safe and effective fire-fighting services to our communities, and that the officers undertaking these activities were protected by the proper gear,” Rivers said in a press release promoting the investment in the service. “Significant progress has been made on the vehicle replacement strategy, which has resulted in the addition of ten state-of-the-art vehicles.”

In the last six months alone seven new domestic fire trucks and three new aviation trucks have been acquired.

Earlier this month one of the three new Oshkosh Striker aviation fire and rescue trucks was shipped over to Cayman Brac, where it will be put into service at the Charles Kirkconnell International Airport (CKIA). In turn, the existing truck has been relocated to Little Cayman to replace an older model that has been taken out of service. This interim measure will remain in place until two new domestic and aviation fire trucks are procured, manufactured and delivered to Little Cayman next year.

Chief Fire Officer Paul Walker said the fleet replacement timetable was gathering pace, with ten new trucks replacing the oldest fire trucks in the fleet

“The vehicle replacement strategy also included the procurement of two further Oshkosh Strikers to support operations at CKIA,” he said. “By relocating one of the three already on-island, we are able to advance familiarisation and operator training for colleagues working in Cayman Brac as well as improve our operational fire and rescue capabilities on both our Sister Islands.”

At Owen Roberts International Airport, two new Oshkosh Strikers are currently on order, one fitted with high reach extendable turret technology to improve the response to incidents involving larger aircraft. Delivery of these appliances is expected later this year.          

Following approval of a business case which outlined building improvements, renovations and new facilities at the Cayman Brac Fire Station site, the project has now gone out to public tender with the work expected to be completed later this year. 

The upgrades include the refurbishment and extension of the fire truck parking bays with a view to improving security between the domestic and air-side fire and rescue operations. Other improvements include modernizing the station, creating a fit-for-purpose facility to maintain and service the vehicle fleet. The refurbishment of a house adjacent to the fire station will also provide accommodation to enable increased rotation of crews to support further development and training.

Deputy Chief Fire Officer and lead officer for the project, Brevan Elliot, said it was welcome news for the fire and rescue crews on the Sister Islands, as well as residents and visitors to Cayman Brac.

“When these much-needed upgrades are completed, they will see their fire and rescue service operate from vastly improved facilities that will serve local communities on the Brac for years to come,” he said. “Our investment in new vehicles and equipment combined with our focus on ensuring competent and professional crews that can deploy using safe systems of work, clearly demonstrate that the CIFS is committed to enhancing public safety and managing risk from fire and rescue related incidents across our Sister Islands.”  

Share your vote!

How do you feel after reading this?
  • Fascinated
  • Happy
  • Sad
  • Angry
  • Bored
  • Afraid
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Tags: , ,

Category: Government Administration, Politics

Comments (9)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Anonymous says:

    Hopefully they dont flip this one aswell..

  2. Anonymous says:

    One might ask why Wikipedia is calling Cayman Brac Airport, “Sir Charles”…Charles Kirkconnell, may have been a distinguished OBE, and the national carrier may have a fictional one legged “Sir Turtle” cartoon mascot, but those two realities do not combine to confer a posthumous knighthood on Charles Kirkconnell. DOT seems to delight in leaving these fictions open in the public realm, much like they describe McKeeva Bush as a Doctor on the LA site.

  3. anon says:

    Seven new domestic fire trucks, 3 new Oshkosh aviation fire trucks, have we not gone from one extreme in the Brac to the other?. How many domestic fires and aircraft fires has the Brac experienced in the last 5 years?.

    • Jotnar says:

      Those Oshkosh vehicles are $750K a pop – heaven knows what they cost delivered here. What exactly was wrong with the existing ones (other than the one the boys in the Brac trashed by rolling it during a speed test).

  4. Anonymous says:

    Job well done Ms.T,Ebanks.

  5. Anonymous says:

    The government just LOVES their firetrucks.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.