The 15-metre ladder will be able to reach blazes in three-storey buildings and allow the firefighters to rescue anyone trapped in multi-level structures.
It is a gift from Japan under its Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP).
This project will see the government of Japan provide grant assistance of up to $132,527 and involves the provision of the aerial-ladder truck as well as a professional training seminar to the Fire Rescue Station of the Teimurimotia Volunteer Fire Rescue Brigade Charitable Trust (TVFRBCT).
The project aims to improve the trust’s capacity to promptly respond to fire outbreaks and other emergencies by providing a fire ladder truck that will allow access to multi-floored buildings in an emergency.
This is the third project under Japan’s GGP for the Teimurimotia volunteer brigade and takes the total number of GGP projects in the Cook Islands to 21.
Last week in Wellington, a grant contract for the project was signed by Japan’s ambassador Hiroyasu Kobayashi and Alistair Macquarie, chairman and trustee of the TVFRBCT.
Ambassador Kobayashi congratulated the trust on the successful implementation of the third project and said: “The ultimate goal of these three projects is to prevent the loss of lives and to minimise property damage in the community of the Cook Islands by providing means to improve the TVFRB’s capacity.”
The ambassador concluded by wishing that the project would progress smoothly towards its scheduled date of completion and hoped it would create additional symbols of friendship and co-operation between Japan and the Cook Islands.
Rescue Fire Services chief fire officer Willy Hagai said the first aerial-ladder truck in the country would come in handy.
“It has a maximum reach of three-storey building so it will surely come in handy if we have a fire, God forbid, in the taller buildings in Rarotonga,” Hagai said.
“It will also come in handy for the places like the hotels, which are normally a couple of levels.”
And the ladder could be used for medical emergency evacuations from taller structures.
“Additional to the current fleet of fire trucks is also a welcome news as this will better equip us to fight fire on the island.”- RM/RK