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DEH and CIFS Tackle Fire Prevention at Landfill Site

Local News 07 Feb, 2020 Follow News

Crews from the Cayman Islands Fire Service and Department of Environmental Health take part in joint training conducted by landfill fire expert, Dr. Tony Sperling (sixth from the left) (Photos by CIFS)

Dr. Tony Sperling (right) instructs crews from the Cayman Islands Fire Service and Department of Environmental Health during a four-day training exercise

The Department of Environmental (DEH) and the Cayman Islands Fire Service (CIFS) are joining forces to improve daily operations at the George Town Landfill and reduce the likelihood of future fires at the site.

Both agencies participated in joint training last week, facilitated by landfill fire expert Dr. Tony Sperling. The training focused on the strategic management of incoming and existing waste materials as well as enhancing fire fighting tactics at the site.

Dr. Sperling brought with him learnings from his experience in upgrading the Nassau Landfill site in the Bahamas. This site was known to catch fire several times a year and has since transformed into a landfill operation consistent with North American standards for cover, compaction and overall safety.

“The inherent characteristics of any landfill site make them susceptible to igniting and challenging to extinguish. Fires can often be deep seated and protracted incidents as we saw during January’s fire adjacent to the landfill,” commented Deputy Chief Fire Officer for Domestic, Mr. Roy Charlton.

Given the nature of landfill sites, fire prevention was therefore the centre of discussion during the four-day training which included both risk specific theory and practical training.

“CIFS and DEH have a long established close working relationship. We are very keen to continue to share our expertise to ensure a coordinated approach to tackling this ongoing challenge,” said DEH Director, Mr. Richard Simms.

“Over the next three years, our aim is to enhance our current safety and fire control operations while we restore the landfill and continue to move to a waste to energy solution” continued Mr. Simms.

During the four-day training, which began on Tuesday, 28 January 2020, Dr. Sperling also shared his expertise with Island Recycling.

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