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Ladder fire truck cannot be repaired

Technicians are unable to fix problems with a ladder truck that hampered the fire service during last month's Front Street blaze.

The hydraulic ladder platform vehicle, known as the Bronto, was unavailable due to issues with its electronic circuitry while firefighters tackled the fire that destroyed a number of businesses on July 21. Responding to questions from The Royal Gazette, the Ministry of National Security said that during the fiscal period 2015-16, the Bermuda Fire & Rescue Service spent $47,696 to service and repair the Bronto; this newspaper is still awaiting a response to how much was spent previously on fixing the out-of-service truck.

Options for replacement are being explored as part of the budget process for the next fiscal year, the ministry said.

An overall investigation is still ongoing and the vehicle will remain out of service due to several factors including its age, ongoing repair costs and refurbishment costs of the old vehicle versus the cost of a replacement vehicle. A Ministry of National Security spokeswoman told The Royal Gazette: “It should be noted that during the fiscal period 2015-16 BF & RS has spent funds to service and repair the Bronto.

“However, despite the very best efforts of both the in-house engineer and the manufacturer's technicians, the issue with the electronic circuitry cannot be resolved.

“The ministry also advised, as stated in recent reports, that the BF & RS ambulance was undergoing maintenance repairs. It is now back in service. The BF & RS had an agreement with the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital to utilise a spare ambulance while its ambulance was being serviced, and it should be stressed that at no time was the public disadvantaged while the fire service ambulance was under maintenance.

“And, finally, regarding the BF & RS's pumper, it is currently undergoing routine maintenance and will be returned to service in due course.”

Asked how a functioning ladder truck could have affected the containment of the fire in the buildings, the spokeswoman added: “Fully functional equipment and fire appliances add to the options available to the BFRS in tackling any fire. Further comment pending the completion of the investigation into this matter including specific actions taken and strategies employed in dealing with this fire would be highly speculative.”

Firefighters tackle the Front Street blaze (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

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Published August 10, 2016 at 9:00 am (Updated August 10, 2016 at 7:48 am)

Ladder fire truck cannot be repaired

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