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Airport firefighters undergo recertification training

A Bermuda Fire and Rescue Service truck (File photograph)

Firefighters attached to the Bermuda Fire and Rescue Service’s Airport Operations Division are undergoing recertification training overseas, the House of Assembly heard today.

The three-day Aviation Firefighter Revalidation training course, which covers the practices and policies of several international airport firefighting standards, is being run simultaneously in Canada and Britain.

Michael Weeks, the Minister of National Security, said the course “aims to provide the knowledge and skills necessary to comply with the requirements of the International Civil Aviation Organisation”.

The training was structured for BFRS personnel who previously and successfully completed an aviation firefighter initial course or equivalent.

Mr Weeks said that all 48 firefighters attached to the BFRS airport division must be recertified annually.

He said they must travel overseas to receive “this critical training and recertification” since the requisite training grounds are not available in Bermuda.

Mr Weeks explained: “Firefighters travel on a rotational basis according to their annual certification expiration date.

“There is no effect on operations or manning of the airport, as sufficient numbers of firefighters remain on island to provide the appropriate level of coverage.”

He added: “Having firefighters recertified is integral to the continued safe operations of the BFRS Airport Operations Division, and by extension, we remain in compliance with international airport requirements which enables Bermuda to operate the LF Wade International Airport.”

The minister said: “These recertification courses provide our firefighters with the training necessary to maintain their specialised skill set.”

MPs heard that the training was being run at the Fire and Emergency Services Training Institute in Toronto, Canada, as well as at the Newcastle International Training Academy and the Fire International Fire Training Centre in England.

The training course covers safety, tactics and techniques that should be employed in response to an aircraft accident or incident, as well as the use of firefighting media used in aviation firefighting.

Mr Weeks said the training also covered “competency in the use of Fire Service Major Foam Vehicle Appliances and equipment during a range of simulated aircraft accidents or incidents”.

He said: “Teamwork is an important skill for firefighters as many of their firefighting operations require the involvement of the entire team to ensure safety.

“As such, teamwork is reinforced throughout the course, with firefighters encouraged to work together to successfully achieve defined aims and objectives.”

When the training is completed successfully, each firefighter will be issued a certificate of competence.

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Published June 14, 2024 at 12:02 pm (Updated June 17, 2024 at 3:58 pm)

Airport firefighters undergo recertification training

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