January 24, 2022

UPDATE: Cayman Islands FS officers released, jet service to return soon

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GIS

Both Cayman Brac fire officers involved in the fire truck accident during a mandatory performance test on the Charles Kirkconnell International Airport runway (Thursday, 5 January 2017), have been released from the hospital at this time.

The driver of the fire truck Acting Leading Fire Officer, Mr. Jason McCoy and passenger Acting Divisional Officer, Mr. Garfield Ritch, were both transported by the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service’s helicopter to Grand Cayman for further medical treatment at the Health Services Authority on Thursday afternoon.

A contingency plan has also been put into place that will support the resumption of jet services in Cayman Brac as soon as possible.

“After working diligently with other Cayman Islands Fire Service’s senior management and with the Cayman Islands Airport Authority we have decided that, whilst the backup fire truck at Cayman Brac will provide adequate fire cover for Category 6 jet movements, we will ship a larger fire truck from Little Cayman to Cayman Brac as the aircraft there carry significantly more passengers,” Chief Fire Officer David Hails explained. “However, this plan will not affect normal operations at the Little Cayman Airport, as we plan to ship a smaller fire truck that will provide adequate fire cover, back from Cayman Brac to Little Cayman.”

According to air safety regulations, at least two fire trucks are required to be on standby for Category 6 aircraft movements before a jet can land on the runway.

The truck traveling from Little Cayman undergoes regular performance testing just like all other trucks which will ensure it’s ready to serve once it arrives,” he added.

Although, a date has not been set as for when this inter-island fire truck exchange will occur, as rough seas have created a bit of a challenge.

Plans are also underway to identify the best options for replacement of the truck involved in the incident. Contact has been made with a number of overseas vendors to determine how quickly a new truck can be procured.

The investigation into what caused the crash is ongoing and still being inspected by an independent accident analyst.

We also have the manufacturer of the Osh Kosh T-3000 fire truck sending one of their experts here towards the end of the week to assess the vehicle,” Chief Hails explained.

Leaders with the Ministry of Home Affairs have facilitated the involvement of these experts from the outset to ensure that the incident is thoroughly evaluated. The facts reported on by the various experts will inform the way forward.

In the interest of staff wellness, a critical incident counsellor will be travelling to Cayman Brac to speak with fire officers and offer counselling if needed.

Government Information Services will continue to bring you the latest on the investigation as it becomes available.

END

IMAGE: Charles Kirkconnell International Airport. Wikpedia

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