Providing Cayman’s firefighters with “a new way of firefighting”, four new rapid intervention vehicles have arrived on island recently, along with three new tankers. Chief Fire Officer Paul Walker said the delivery of the rapid response vehicles meant Cayman’s fire officers now had a “first attack” appliance, complete with high pressure hose reels, that would mean fires could be reached more easily and would be put out quicker and more effectively. Three of the rapid response vehicles are to be based on Grand Cayman and the fourth will be shipped to Cayman Brac, while the three tankers are to remain on Grand Cayman with a fourth on order for Cayman Brac.
Last week Home Affairs Minister Tara Rivers, Chief Officer Dax Basdeo and other senior leaders from the Ministry and Fire Service joined Chief Walker in taking part in the convoy that transported the seven vehicles from the Cayman Islands Port Authority to the Central Fire Station.
Minister Rivers said that the arrival of the new fleet, in addition to the aviation fleet that recently arrived to support the aerodrome side of the service, marked a complete change out of the domestic fire service fleet of vehicles.
“Government has always recognised the value of ensuring that our Fire Service has state-of-the-art equipment that it can use to make the necessary interventions that help to save lives,” she said. “Throughout the course of our term a number of significant capital investments have reflected the belief that the safety of our fire officers is essential to the well-being of the Cayman Islands.”
The three tankers cost USD632,734.00 each, while the four rapid intervention vehicles each cost USD271,711.
Chief Walker said the larger tankers would be a boost for the fire service, particularly with the protracted incidences that Cayman has experienced of late. The age of the original appliances had been a cause for concern as they had been breaking down frequently and causing high maintenance bills. The Chief therefore called the delivery “a fantastic day” and went on to say that he was even more excited about the delivery of the rapid intervention vehicles, which would really transform the way in which his officers could respond to fires.
He said the rapid intervention vehicles would prove quicker and more versatile on local roads which are often busy and sometimes narrow. As a result, vehicles and crews would be able to arrive at incidents more quickly with sufficient fire and rescue equipment to deploy safely.
Other rapid intervention vehicle features include rapid cooling of fires with high pressure hose reels producing very fine droplets of water, as well as quick deployment of hydraulic rescue equipment for rescues at motor vehicle accidents.
Chief Walker confirmed that he and his CIFS colleagues were very grateful for this significant investment Government in these new fire and rescue vehicles.
“This will help us to improve our service and maintain the safety of residents, businesses and visitors to these beautiful Islands,” he said.