Building the capacity of the PNG Fire Service broadens the element of safety and security during the monumental event.
The six fire trucks have been donated through Japan’s Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects.
The vehicles have been reconditioned and are of compact size, which ensures easy parking and can easily move through Port Moresby’s roads and through narrow crowded streets to reach the scene of the fire; an essential element in fire-fighting.
“I believe that this project has been proposed in timely fashion as the impending APEC meeting has prompted the PNG Fire Service to scrutinise its capacity,” said Hiroshi Nawata, Japan’s Deputy Chief of Mission in PNG.
“It has been found that there is a lack of capacity in terms of manpower and equipment and a lack of service coverage of the country as only 11 out of 22 provinces have fire stations.
“To address these and other issues faced by the PNG Fire Service, adequate funding support is necessary. I therefore commend the PNG Government for taking a step in this direction by allocating 18 million Kina to the PNG Fire Service in the 2018 budget.
“The government of Japan is pleased to support the PNG Government’s efforts to improve the capacity of the PNG Fire Service through the provision of these 6 fire trucks.”
Partnering Japan in this endeavour was the Australian government, who also presented breathing apparatus and 70 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for PNG firemen.
Australia’s Deputy High Commissioner to PNG, Caitlin Wilson, said such a collaboration has huge benefits and that the Australian government stands ready to support the ongoing partnership with PNG into the future.
Upon receiving the fire equipment, APEC Minister Justin Tkatchenko said the expertise and equipment received from Japan and Australia will help the PNG Fire Service during and beyond APEC.
Chief Fire Officer Bill Roo outlined the challenges they face and thanked the donors for boosting their capacities in order to carry out their core functions.
In addition, the PNG Fire Service is currently undergoing critical training facilitated by two officers from the Queensland Fire Service.