The Cayman Brac and Little Cayman fire stations have recently benefitted from new equipment and facilities to better assist them in protecting the community.
Minister for Home Affairs, Tara Rivers, who takes overall charge of the Cayman Islands Fire Service, said that they had made significant progress replacing vehicles which had resulted in the addition of 10 state-of-the-art vehicles to date to the fleet that oversees the three Cayman Islands.”
“A programme of renovations and upgrades to the fire stations has also been implemented and the service-wide approach that has been taken by the Chief and his senior team with both of these critical projects, has ensured the inclusion of Cayman Brac and Little Cayman,” she stated.
Cayman Brac took delivery earlier in March of one of three new Oshkosh Striker aviation fire and rescue trucks, where it will operate at the Charles Kirkconnell International Airport. This I turn enabled the fire truck previously in service at CKIA to be 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 dual-purpose domestic and aviation fire trucks are procured, manufactured and delivered to Little Cayman in 2022.
Chief Fire Officer, Paul Walker, said that significant investment in vehicles and equipment by the Cayman Islands Government was seeing the fleet replacement timetable gather pace and confirmed they had received seven new domestic fire trucks and three new aviation trucks in the last six months to replace the oldest fire trucks in the fleet.
He continued: “The vehicle replacement strategy also included the procurement of two further Oshkosh Strikers to support operations at CKIA. 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.”
The CIFS senior team, working in tandem with the Ministry of Financial Services and Home Affairs and the Public Works Department, obtained approval of a business case which outlined building improvements, renovations and new facilities at their Cayman Brac fire station site. This project went out to public tender this week and the various works are expected to be completed later this year. Work is set to refurbish and extend fire truck parking bays to improve security between the domestic and airside fire and rescue operations. The project will also deliver a number of other improvements which will result in a more modern station that supports efficient and effective operations, including the creation of a fit-for-purpose facility to maintain and service the vehicle fleet.
Deputy Chief Fire Officer and lead officer for the project, Brevan Elliot, welcomed the news.
“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. 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,” he stated.