(CMR) The Cayman Islands Fire Service (CIFS) acquired two additional Oshkosh Striker Aviation Fire Trucks from the Cayman Islands Port Authority as part of an ongoing fleet modernization plan.
Speaking to the Ministry’s mission to build resilience through partnerships and innovation, Acting Chief Officer for the Ministry of Home Affairs Michael Ebanks stated:
“With the increased air traffic expected due to our border reopening, this investment is an integral component of the Ministry’s plan to ensure our CIFS team has the equipment, technology, and professionalism necessary to support international airport operations with cutting edge firefighting and rescue services.”
“The enhanced capability is primarily aimed at facilitating larger aircraft like the BA 777, which regularly arrives and departs from Grand Cayman, and is welcomed by the Cayman Islands Fire Service and our key aviation partners, Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) Cayman Islands and Cayman Islands Airport Authority (CIAA),” Mr. Ebanks said.
Joining the three existing trucks currently in operation, one of the new Oshkosh Striker Aviation Fire Trucks has been fitted with High Reach Extendable Turret Technology, which significantly improves fire and rescue capabilities as well as Firefighter safety. The 65-foot extendable boom allows the CIFS aerodrome team the versatility to attack a fire from every angle and penetrate an aircraft’s fuselage with intense precision.
Speaking to the capabilities of the new strikers, Deputy Chief Fire Officer (Aviation) Brevan Elliott explained that “these two new trucks are equipped with state-of-the-art technology that will allow CIFS to provide a more efficient and effective rapid response service to airport operations, with a response time of 0-50 miles per hour in 32 seconds.”
“Acquiring the new appliances will also allow our CIFS Aviation team to meet its 2-minutes response time objectives on either end of the runway. This new firefighting technology will also assist CIFS in seeking approval of our new Task Resource Analysis TRA, which will enable CIFS to provide Category 9 rescue and firefighting at all times. We are working with our Oshkosh partners to ensure our officers are trained effectively with new, improved fire and rescue techniques,” he added.
Speaking to the significance of the new fleet to airport operations, Cayman Islands Airport Authority, CEO Albert Anderson noted, “CIFS are one of our main airside partners, and provide a valuable service to airport operations, the investment of these new trucks complements the recent upgrades to the airport and will enable both agencies to further improve the quality of service and the level of safety.”
Acting Minister of Home Affairs Isaac Rankine MP, who attended the welcome for the two new Fire Trucks, stated: “This is a great day for Cayman Islands. I understand this investment by Cayman Islands Government will serve our needs for the next 12-15 years and completes the replacement of all of our aviation fire trucks in Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac.”
Designate Chief Fire Officer Dwight ‘Randy’ Rankin said, “I am immensely proud of CIFS colleagues who have worked tirelessly to make this happen and congratulate them on successfully replacing the Aviation Fleet over the past two years. A unified fleet of Oshkosh Strikers delivers operational improvements, servicing and maintenance efficiencies, and above all our improved fire and rescue capabilities should allow for a consistent aviation fire and rescue crewing model at Owen Roberts International Airport.”
“Furthermore, with our fleet of five Oshkosh Strikers, we have the equipment and vehicles to provide a first-class aviation fire and rescue service and support the Cayman Islands Government vision for a “World Class Civil Service,” Mr. Rankin added.
The Striker with the 65-foot extendable boom will be stationed at Owen Roberts International Airport; the other Striker will be acceptance tested and then delivered to Cayman Brac to provide fire and rescue cover at Charles Kirkconnell International Airport.