‘High-tech’ fire truck for Ogle Airport among $178M in new equipment for Fire Service
In order to save lives and effectively respond to fires and other emergencies, the government has procured the highest level of firefighting equipment, but importantly, the first ‘airport fire truck’ valued at $146.3 million was handed over to the Guyana Fire Service on Tuesday.
The Airport Fire and Rescue truck will be placed at the Eugene Correia International Airport at Ogle, East Coast Demerara.
“This is intended to bring Corriea International Airport at Ogle to Category Four for aerodrome firefighting, the appliance we have had there have fallen behind the standard which are necessary,” Minister of Home Affairs Robeson Benn said at the handing over ceremony held at the ministry’s Brickdam, Georgetown office.
This specific category of fire-fighting involves emergency response, hazard mitigation, evacuation and possible rescue of passengers and crew if an aircraft is involved in an accident or emergency landing.
According to Benn, the Ogle airport is one of the busiest in Guyana and the Caribbean region and it is for this reason that the new truck was procured.
The new vehicle can be operated manually or electronically and was specially designed to function at an airport.
“You can have one person manoeuvring that [equipment],” Fire Chief (ag) Gregory Wickham told reporters.
In total, five pieces of equipment valued at $178.6 million were handed over and is expected to significantly boost the response of firefighters.
Wickham welcomed the new addition to the Fire Service fleet and said that the readiness and capability of firefighters will be greatly improved.
Two ambulances which were handed over is valued at $19.5 million; the water tanker is valued at $12.7 million while Angloco, an international firefighting manufacturing company, also donated $28 million.
The ambulances will be placed in Regions Three and Five as the Fire Service will be expanding its Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) service.
“I know the people of Guyana depend strongly on us for fire safety and fire protection and prevention and even in emergency care,” Wickham said.
Meanwhile, a team from the Vanderbilt University in the United States is expected in Guyana soon to train firefighters how to properly maintain and sustain the new equipment.