By Lagi Keresoma
APIA, SAMOA – TUESDAY 20 FEBRUARY 2018: With the growing number of high-rise buildings in Apia, the Fire & Emergency Samoa Authority (FESA) has always been concerned at the lack of proper equipment if a fire occurs in these buildings. This was highlighted when an oil storage tank on the wharf caught fire in 2016 and FESA was exposed when it did not have the equipment and water pumps strong enough to reach the location of the fire.
However, thanks to JICA, FESA has taken delivery of a brand new ST$4million fire tender with a ladder that can reach the sixth floor of the Government Building.
The truck was presented last week by the former Japanese Ambassador to Samoa, His Excellency Tuimauga Shibuta to the FESA Commissioner Lelevaga Faafouina Mupo.
The ladder truck and a small fire truck cost about ST$4 million, and according to Tuimauga, this is the first truck of its’ kind in the Pacific.
He said the timing of the donation is also very timely especially with the number of fire incidents recently.
A demonstration was conducted in-front of the Government building on how to use the ladder for rescue missions and to test how far the ladder goes.
According to FESA, the ladder reaches 30 meters, higher than the Government building.
After the incident at the Matautu wharf in 2016 where a fuel storage tank exploded, Lelevaga said he had already asked Government for a ladder fire truck.
Two years later, FESA’s dream came true when the Japanese Government responded to the request.
FESA personnel are now being trained on the use of the truck and equipment by Australian consultants.