DPS, AIRPORT FIREFIGHTERS TO SHARE TRAINING AT STATE OF THE ART FACILITY
The Director of Port Administration, Taimalelagi Claire Tuia-Poumele has opened up the “Hot Fire Training Facility” enabling it to be used by firemen with the Department of Public Safety along with the airport firefighters.
This was announced during an annual training for Airport’s fire fighters using the hot fire facility. Observers to the exercise were Gov. Lolo M. Moliga, Commissioner of Public Safety William Haleck and DPS firefighters.
According to Taimalelagi, this $15million facility was dedicated in 2009 as a requirement by the FAA, with the purpose of holding training for airport firefighters.
“The intent of the facility was to provide education and practicality which would bring about the establishment of US based National Fire Protection Association Pro Board qualifications to the territory; and second, to reach out to the greater South Pacific region to provide a training centre where a spirit of inter island cooperation and interoperability of procedure could be developed in the event of a major catastrophe within the region,” she noted.
“We have a state of the art training facility for the Airport Fire Fighters and would like to maximize the usage of this facility for our DPS firemen to train.” The Port Director further noted that the long-range plan is for this facility to be a training centre for the Pacific Region.
The facility provides scenario training that can encompass structural and aircraft firefighters, fuel farm responders, maritime firefighting as required by the Coast Guard, and training for airline staff, both ground handlers and cabin crew.
It is also capable of providing Confined Space Rescue or HAZMAT response training for both of the canneries.
“Finally it provides the opportunity for the young people of American Samoa to seek a career that is viable in any place of the world by receiving the appropriate and certified training here on the island,” the Port Director stated.
At the annual training held last Friday, firemen from DPS were invited to observe for the first time.
“It is our intent (DPS and DPA) that this will be the beginning of a partnership in training that will benefit the Airport Fire Fighters and the DPS Firemen,” Taimalelagi said. There are currently 32 firefighters employed at the Airport under the leadership of Acting Fire Chief Duane Fuimaono.
The Director pointed out that they are also working with the Department of Homeland Security Director Utuali’i Iuniasolua Savusa, hand in hand for the trainings.
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