Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI) Special Coordinator Quinton Devlin today handed over the keys to a new, multi-million dollar Fire and Rescue Station in Central Honiara to Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) Commissioner Frank Prendergast.
The gifting of the fit-for-purpose Central Fire and Rescue Station marked RAMSI’s last major step in ensuring that the RSIPF’s emergency responders will be ready when RAMSI leaves in June this year.
“The RSIPF’s new Fire and Rescue Station is a modern, state-of-the-art facility that will be the envy of many in the Pacific region and will enable the RSIPF to better protect lives and property in Honiara and beyond,” Mr Devlin said.
The centrally-located Station will be the headquarters of RSIPF fire, first aid and emergency responders, who have been trained to RAMSI’s high standards. It also includes a training centre for current and future generations of emergency service personnel.
Over the past 14 years, eight RAMSI advisers selected from Fire and Rescue New South Wales (Australia) have guided and supported the re-building of the RSIPF’s Fire and Rescue Department.
The Special Coordinator thanked these advisers for their dedication and commitment.
“When RAMSI arrived in 2003, the fire service was in tatters. Today, with RAMSI’s support, the RSIPF’s Fire and Rescue Department has the skills, infrastructure, vehicles, firefighting trailers and other specialist equipment to do the job.”
“There are also much stronger building codes, legislated fire and rescue powers, and fire safety education campaigns,” he said.
Mr Devlin concluded that Solomon Islanders should be very proud of the disciplined, accountable and skilled group of emergency responders that stand ready to come to their aid.
RSIPF Commissioner Frank Prendergast, Honiara City Mayor Hon. Andrew Mua, and RAMSI Special Coordinator Quinton Devlin formally exchange keys to the new Central Fire and Rescue Station