Firefighters in ‘ambitious’ training programme
Firefighters have taken to the water to train for aircraft ditching in the seas around the airport.
And Bermuda Fire and Rescue Service members are being trained to provide legally-required rescue capabilities in the event of a plane hitting the water.
A spokesman for the fire service said: “In order to meet the mandate the BFRS has embarked upon an ambitious training programme to ensure that there is a trained and certified cadre of fire fighters to carry out the requirement. “The service has qualified “C” class pilots and has 12 other members in various stages of qualification to deploy and operate the boat.”
The firefighters trained at the weekend in the area around Stokes Bay, St George's with their 27 foot Boston Whaler, equipped with liferafts and powered by two 225hp engines.
The spokesman said the fire service had to be trained and equipped to carry out rescue operations 1000 metres either side of the runway and areas like Ferry Reach, Castle Harbour, Annie's Bay and Clearwater.
The fire service is working with the Marine and Ports department on training and certification to keep costs down.
Firefighters also work closely with Harbour Radio, the police, including the marine section, and the Fisheries department.
The boat crew are trained to deploy liferafts, then tow them to shore, where survivors would be assessed by fire service emergency medical technicians.
Crews also practice recovering people from the water and taking them to safety.