Members of the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force Fire and Rescue Service recently attended three weeks of intensive training and familiarisation in techniques of rope access and vertical rescue at the RAMSI base in Henderson, East Honiara.
The RAMSI Participating Police Force (PPF) training program was aimed at enhancing the RSIPF Fire and Rescue Service capability to include rescue from heights and depths.
“Two groups of 10 Fire fighters attended the training which included both theory and practical exercises. The familiarisation covered all aspects of rope access and vertical rescue. The initial training sets a solid foundation for more advanced rope rescue training scheduled for early 2016,” said Greg Harrigan, Commander of the PPF.
Mr Harrigan explained, “A vertical rescue capacity could be deployed if a person were ever trapped or injured in a difficult to access location such as high level building works, phone or electrical towers, shafts or mine sites and cliffs and steep slopes.”
The Solomon Islands Police Act 2013 stipulates that, besides providing general policing functions, the RSIPF also have the responsibility of providing a land based rescue capacity.
These functions are provided through the Fire and Rescue Service, who are a specialist division of the RSIPF.
RAMSI PPF has included a senior officer from Fire and Rescue New South Wales since its arrival in Solomon Islands in 2003. This PPF officer works side by side with RSIPF firefighters and assists with operational advice, mentoring and capacity development.
Other training provided by RAMSI PPF to the RSIPF Fire and Rescue Service included recently completed courses in first aid and first aid “train the trainer”.
RAMSI assistance has also extended to the construction of a new Fire Station at the Central Police Station in Honiara which is about to begin, the provision of a bulk water carrying truck, an 11,000 litre fire truck, a rescue/hazmat truck and an ambulance.