Flat fire tender tyre disrupts flights
April 20, 2007
Flat fire tender tyre disrupts flights

A punctured tyre in a Fire Tender disrupted five airline flights and reduced the response capability of the ET Joshua Airport from category six to three for close to nine hours last Thursday, April 12.{{more}}

The airport was at this reduced status from around 6 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Now the ruling Unity Labour Party has accused the Fire Brigade and/or the Office of the Commissioner of Police of “dropping the ball”.

The ULP’s weekly newspaper article entitled “Get the small things right” reads:

“Recently, the failure and/or refusal of the Fire Brigade and/or the Office of the Commissioner of Police to purchase and stock spare tyres for the Fire Tender at the ET Joshua Airport is a clear case of not getting the small things right.”

Commissioner of Police, Bertram Pompey has however described the situation as an unfortunate mishap. According to Commissioner Pompey, arrangements were well in place to have the tyres ordered by a local importer.

He said that the tyres could not be sourced within the region and are only available out of Miami. However the set of tyres and spare for the truck will cost $50,000. Pompey explained that because the price was more than $20,000, the request had to go through the Tenders Board, which slowed down the process.

Commissioner Pompey told SEARCHLIGHT that the set of tyres including a spare has been ordered but it has not yet arrived. So when the problem occurred last Thursday, the police service was in essence caught unprepared.

“We had to borrow a tyre from St Lucia because they have a fire truck like the one in question,” he said.

The incapacitated fire tender contains foam (used to smother flames) as well with water, so if there were a particular level of fire hazard, the fire service wouldn’t have been fully equipped to handle it – hence the official downgrading of the airport’s response capability.

A category five level of readiness is what is required for Dash-8 aircrafts to operate at an airport.