A new partnership agreement was sign between the government of Vanuatu and ACT Emergency Services Agency (ESA) of Australia in relation to fire and emergency management activities. This arrangement is supported by the ACT Government, Australasian Fire & Emergency Service Authorities Council (AFAC) though the Pacific Islands Emergency Management Alliance (PIEMA) and the Pacific Islands Fire and Emergency Services Association.
Accordin to Asian Pacific Fire Site, The first step in developing the relationship between the ESA and the Vanuatu Fire Service was the donation of two fire appliances – an urban pumper from ACT Fire & Rescue and a 4WD bushfire tanker from the ACT Rural Fire Service, as well as some items of Personal Protective Clothing (PPC) and hydraulic rescue tools.
The personnel from ESA Travelled to port vila in september 2016 to shipped the equipment to vanuatu and also delivered training to the fire fighter of vanuatu on how they can responsed if there is an incident .Also as part of the agreement they established the relationship to repair vehicles and provided trainings. one of the main objective during that time is establising a workin relationsip between te vanuatu fire service and the Vanuatu National Disaster Management Office and other local stakeholders .
The shipping of the vehicles to Vanuatu and the travel by ESA officers was coordinated through PIEMA and the Pacific Community organisation (SPC) and was funded by the European Union.
Prior to this donation the firefighters in Port Vila, led by Chief Officer Bomma Avia, were in the unenviable position of not having a working major fire appliance in which to respond and fight fires. The capability of their Toyota Landcruiser light tanker with a crew of two and limited pumping capacity meant that their efforts to contain fires were often unsuccessful.
The official handover ceremony for the vehicles was held on 4 October including the signing of the MOU and the benefits of the new trucks and training were quickly realised, when a major fire occurred in Port Vila on Saturday 15 October.
Acoordin the website, relationship between ESA and the Vanuatu Fire Service and Government will definitely be a two-way street. ESA hopes to use ongoing training and service exchanges as a professional development opportunity for its officers and we will learn a lot from the Ni-Van approach to achieving outcomes with limited resources. The Vanuatu Government and NDMO also have well-advances strategies in relation to climate change adaptation, which we hope can be translated to our operational environment in Canberra.
Source: Asian Pacific Fire