The Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) has taken delivery of four firetrucks to improve its fire and rescue capability, made possible through the RSIPF AFP Policing Partnership Program (RAPPP).
Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) donated the refurbished trucks, which are equipped with ladders, foam firefighting systems, 3000-litre water storage capacity and high-capacity water pumps.
The firetrucks replace RSIPF Fire and Rescue’s ageing fleet and allow firefighters to better respond to fire, rescue and hazardous material incidents.
The AFP provides support to the RSIPF Fire and Rescue through the RAPPP, which includes the secondment of a senior NSW firefighter, Inspector Gary Power, who advises and supports his Solomon Islands colleagues, and assists with the procurement of specialist equipment.
The AFP and FRNSW previously donated personal protective equipment, including overalls, coats and helmets.
AFP Commander Solomon Islands Heath Davies said the firetrucks 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 FRNSW to provide the firetrucks which are vital for the services RSIPF Fire and Rescue provide to the local community,” Commander Davies said.
“The trucks will ensure officers are better equipped with the tools to respond and protect the community under challenging conditions.”
RSIPF Commissioner Mostyn Mangau thanked FRNSW for the firetrucks, which would improve RSIPF’s fire and rescue capability.
“The firetrucks will improve the RSIPF’s ability to deal with and respond to fire incidents, and improves the RSIPF Fire Department’s capability as it prepares for the 2023 Pacific Games,” Commissioner Mangau said.
“The four trucks and ongoing training will further strengthen the RSIPF’s capability and enable the RSIPF Fire Department to respond to fire incidents more efficiently.”
“Whilst they’re between 20 and 22 years old, the decommissioned tankers are still in decent operational order”, FRNSW Commissioner Paul Baxter said.
“We donated two fire trucks to the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force ‘Fire and Rescue’ Division a few years back and they provided local firefighters with a tremendous increase in capability.”
FRNSW Fleet Director Ian Peisley said the new trucks 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 supply is an issue in the Solomon Islands but now they can carry more equipment and have a greater pumping capacity,” Mr Peisley said.
“They can provide a bigger response, they’re four-wheel drives, so they can travel off-road.
“Once we commission the new appliances, which are in the final stages of build, and get them into station, we will do a full mechanical and safety inspection of the four trucks.
“We maintain all our trucks throughout their lives so we don’t expect them to have any work required.”