AIRPORT–The Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIA) Rescue and Firefighting (R&FF) Department now has a rescue boat and an ultra-modern structural fire truck.
The R&FF Department met with St. Maarten Civil Aviation in 2017 to ensure that the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) regulations were met, as all airports surrounded by water should have initial water rescue response.
The rescue boat is a Zodiac 650, as used in the army. It is 20 feet long and has provisions to carry two life rafts and eight persons. The life rafts can be deployed to carry 65 persons each. The manufacturer’s representative hosted an informative training session on the rescue boat and took the R&FF personnel for a practical training at sea.
According to R&FF Manager Manilo Penijn, “The purpose of the rescue boat is to provide a water response in our sea radius and to provide initial form of rescue so there is a chance of survival in the event of a plane crash.”
ICAO mandates that if there are structural buildings on the airport premises some form of firefighting capabilities must be provided for these structures, hence the purchase of the structural fire truck. In the event of a fire, the structural fire truck will be used to aid the terminal building, Departure Pavilion, Air Traffic Services (ATS) building and any other building on the PJIA premises. The fire trucks PJIA had already possessed are for aircraft firefighting purposes.
The structural fire truck was purchased pre-hurricane Irma and is based on a 2017 Ford F-550 4×4 super cab chassis fitted with Pyrolance transitional quick attack tools.
The heart of any Pyrolance fire-fighting vehicle is the advanced transitional attack system which features patented dual-piercing fire-control technology that allows fire-fighters to make an aggressive interior attack on a fire from a safe exterior position. The water tank capacity is 300 US gallons (1,135 litres), and two foam tanks: Class A 10 US gallons (38 litres) and Class B 20 US gallons (75 litres).
PJIA is the first airport in the Caribbean to purchase a structural fire truck with this type of advanced technology.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/74414-airport-gets-a-new-fire-truck-and-rescue-boat