HELiPRO Fiji yesterday conducted demonstration drills in relation to aerial bush, high rise building, property firefighting and emergency rescue at the National Fire Authority (NFA) Walu Bay Station.
NFA CEO John O’Connor thanked the HELiPRO for their timely visit and demonstration to NFA.
“We would like to thank HELiPRO for demonstrating their rescue and aerial firefighting capabilities to NFA as NFA intends to provide similar services in the future.
The NFA CEO highlighted that the use of an aerial firefighting aircraft such as that used by HELiPRO’s is an important firefighting tool. We have a lot of water sources around our towns and cities and such firefighting services provided by HELiPRO will really enhance firefighting in bush fires, major commercial fire and high rise building fires.
Furthermore such capability will boost firefighting in urban and rural areas where fire trucks cannot gain access.
The use of an aircraft will assist drop fire retardant, foam or water to suppress the major property fires.
“The speed, mobility and retardant delivery capability of aerial firefighting make them very effective resources in support of firefighters on the ground,”Mr O’Connor said.
The NFA CEO said that as part of the NFA’s reform which is currently being undertaken is the uplifting of the standards of its firefighting operations.
“The availability of such advanced firefighting capability is Fiji will only enhance the service delivery. The provision of such service is worthy and this is something NFA will need to consider when budgeting to ensure we have available funds to fund for such capability,” Mr O’Connor said.
Furthermore, NFA will also seek assistance from donor agency to support NFA in terms of providing funds for emergency aerial firefighting.
“NFA is in the process of benchmarking firefighting and emergency services delivery to international benchmark and part of these reforms is the upgrading of firefighting and communication equipment to world standard and NFA strives to uplift its service delivery standards and also upgrade its firefighting equipment to internationally accepted standards,” Mr O’Connor said.