Basseterre, St. Kitts, July 20, 2022 (SKNIS): The Republic of China (Taiwan) donated an Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting 6×6 Panther to the St. Kitts and Nevis Fire and Rescue Services (SKNFRS) on July 19, 2022 at the Basseterre Fire Station.
Taiwan’s Ambassador to St. Kitts and Nevis, His Excellency Ambassador Michael Lin stated that “This new fire tender represents the strong and continued friendships between the people and the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis and the Republic of China (Taiwan).”
“RLB International Airport is the gateway to St. Kitts and Nevis and we are pleased to see such modern and versatile crash fire tender donated by my government to be used to protect and safeguard not only the citizens of St. Kitts and Nevis but also the foreign travellers from the dangers and impacts of fires or explosions that might occur at the airport,” he said.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of National Security, Osmond Petty, said in his presentation, “I want to thank the embassy and Government of the Republic of China (Taiwan) represented here by Ambassador Lin donating the entire cost of this fire tender of US$750,000.”
“Our budget for 2022 included EC$558,000 which was supposed to be the final payment on a small fire tender, but as we discussed with Fire Chief Hodge, and we discussed the importance of upgrading our fire services at both RLB and Vance Amory Airports and we thought that it would be better that a larger tender was bought,” he said.
“Luckily, Inducom, who is our agent for Rosenbauer (fire truck) indicated that a 6×6 panther fire tender was available and so first we contacted the Ministry of Finance but then the Government of Taiwan came forward and we have been able to purchase the 6×6 fire tender,” said Mr. Petty.
Mr. Petty added that the Fire and Rescue Services Department has made and will continue to make significant contributions to the national security programme within the Federation. He said the department does not wait for a fire to occur but engages in community outreach programmes and training weekly in the event of a fire.
“They are proactive out in the community and ensuring that our businesses and homes are prepared and people are sensitized to the importance of being protected against fire,” said Mr. Petty.