Taiwan Donates New Fire Tender to R.L.B. Int. Airport

Fire Chief Garfield Hodge, Ambassador Michael Lin, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of National Security Osmond Petty, Force Chaplin Pastor Ericsson Cumberbatch and Fire Officer Mavis Archibald
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By Loshaun Dixon

The Federation’s closest ally the Republic of China (Taiwan) has once again proved its significance to the people of St Kitts and Nevis, with the donation of a new state-of-the-art fire tender that will be used at the R.L.B. International Airport.

The tender that was handed over on Tuesday was described as a 2022 6×6 Panther Crash Fire Tender by Acting Fire Chief Garfield Hodge, who added that the tender would be added to the fleet and improve the firefighting and rescue capacity.

This brand new state-of-the-art 6×6 Panther is primarily intended to actively combat aircraft fires and to assist and protect the airport rescue team during evacuation of passengers. It has the capacity to deliver fast and safe response as well as effective agent discharge,”

The careful selection of components, like its high-performance 4-stroke diesel engine, automatic power shift transmission system, permanent all-wheel drive, high-performance coil spring suspension system and single-wheel configuration, have made the Panther a remarkable leader in its class,” Hodge said.

He said the vehicle features rapid acceleration due to high horsepower to weight ratio, maintained top speed, extreme mobility and reliable braking system type that will allow the emergency crew to safely reach the scene of an accident even under the toughest conditions.

A Rosenbauer high-performance primary agent system, including a centrifugal pump, a variety of available turret options with high-reach extendable turrets and a fully automatic foam proportioning system with instant change of proportioning rate, offers powerful fire-fighting capabilities.”

Hodge explained that the vehicle became necessary late last year to keep up to date with the regulations of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

The Ministry of National Security immediately responded and together we were able to identify and procure this brand new state-of-the-art Aircraft Rescue & Fire Fighting 6×6 Panther, built in accordance to ICAO standards by Rosenbauer in Austria.

He said the urgent procurement o was facilitated by INDOCOM, the regional agent for Rosenbauer, based in Trinidad. I

Resident Ambassador of the Republic of China (Taiwan) in St Kitts, His Excellency Michael Lin, said the donation represents the strong and continued friendship between the people and the Government of St Kitts and Nevis and the Republic of China on Taiwan.

In 2014, Taiwan donated 10 police cars to the Royal Police Force, then in 2019, another 12 police cars were donated to the Royal Police Force. From 2018 to 2022 we also helped set up the new CCTV road surveillance system in St. Kitts and Nevis. Therefore, it further exemplifies Taiwan’s substantial support for the Federation; substantial efforts in providing a safe and secure environment for its own people and visitors likewise.”

The Taiwanese Embassy also covered the cost of shipping the tender to the Federation – a total cost of US$750,000

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