The Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) has received four firetrucks from the Fire and Rescue New South Wales (FRNSW), which will improve the RSIPF’s Fire and Rescue capability.
The RSIPF and Australian Federal Police (AFP) Policing Partnership Program (RAPPP) supported the delivery of these firetrucks. The firetrucks were airlift to Honiara from Australia on a Royal Australian Air Force by the Australian Defence Force (ADF).
Each firetruck is equipped with ladders, foam firefighting systems, 3000-litre water storage capacity and high-capacity water pumps.
These firetrucks will replaces the RSIPF Fire and Rescue’s ageing fleet, which will enabled RSIPF firefighters to respond efficiently to fire, rescue and hazardous material incidents.
RAPPP has been supporting the RSIPF Fire and Rescue in various areas including the secondment arrangement to get senior FRNSW firefighter, Inspector Gary Power, to directly supports the RSIPF Fire and Rescue as Fire Advisor.
Among other things, Inspector Power has been supporting the RSIPF Fire and Rescue with the procurement of specialist equipment and training delivery.
Previously, through the RAPPP, the AFP and FRNSW donated personal protective equipment including overalls, coats and helmets to the RSIPF Fire and Rescue.
AFP RAPPP Commander, Heath Davies, said the firetrucks delivered to the RSIPF Fire and Rescue would make a big difference to fire and rescue response and capability in Honiara and surrounding areas.
“The AFP is proud to have once again worked closely with the FRNSW to provide these firetrucks which are vital for the services the RSIPF Fire and Rescue is providing to the local community,” Commander Davies said.
He said the firetrucks would ensure RSIPF officers are better equipped with the tools to respond to incidents and to protect the community under challenging conditions.
RSIPF Commissioner, Mostyn Mangau, thanked the FRNSW for the firetrucks and reiterated that the firetrucks would improve the RSIPF’s capability to deal with fire and rescue operation.
“The firetrucks will improve the RSIPF’s ability to deal with and respond to fire incidents and improves the RSIPF Fire and Rescue capability in its preparation for the 2023 Pacific Games,” Commissioner Mangau said.
He said the firetrucks and the ongoing trainings provided to the RSIPF would further strengthen the RSIPF capability and enabled the RSIPF Fire and Rescue to respond to fire incidents efficiently.
FRNSW Commissioner, Paul Baxter, who was accompany by his officers, was in Honiara where he personally hand over the firetrucks.
Commissioner Baxter said the FRNSW donated two firetrucks to the RSIPF Fire and Rescue a few years back and they (two firetrucks) have provided local firefighters with a tremendous increase in capability.
FRNSW Fleet Director, Ian Peisley, said the firetrucks would prove a great addition to the island nation’s emergency resources.
“They are a larger truck than they typically run so they’re able to carry more water. Water supply via hydrant is an issue in the Solomon Islands but now they can carry more equipment and have a greater pumping capacity,” Peisley said.
He said the firetrucks could provide a bigger response as they are four-wheel drive vehicles capable of travelling off-road.
The handing over took place at the RSIPF Fire and Rescue station and was witness by the Australian High Commissioner to Solomon Islands, His Excellency Rod Hilton, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Police, National Security and Correctional Services (MPNSCS), Karen Galokale, RSIPF Commissioner Mangau, Commander Davies, FRNSW Commissioner Baxter and senior members of the RSIPF and RAPPP.
Speaking during the ceremony, MPNSCS’s Permanent Secretary Galokale described the gift as “timely”.
She said Honiara city is increasing and the need for police capability to deal with fire incidents is necessary.
Galokale said a number of major events will take place in Honiara attracting visitors and investors, therefore the capability and readiness of the RSIPF Fire and Rescue is critical.
“This gift is highly commendable. It is a milestone achievement for the country’s security. Resources provided to the RSIPF Fire and Rescue will enable the RSIPF to continue fulfilling its mandate in protecting the city and its infrastructures,” Galokale said.
The Permanent Secretary appealed to the RSIPF executives and senior members of the Fire and Rescue to look after the gifted firetrucks. End///