Fire equipment concerns aired

National

FIRE hydrants should be compatible with equipment that the PNG Fire Service uses to be effective in emergencies, a fire station officer says.
Arifeae Farapo, the officer in-charge of the Waigani Fire Station in Port Moresby, told The National yesterday that new hydrants installed by contractors were not compatible with equipment used by the fire fighters.
Farapo described the situation as very serious because the fire service relied on the efficient supply of water. “When we don’t have access to water supply where we are, it makes our job difficult,” he said.
“The fire truck carries about 1700 litres of water and it’s insufficient.”
Farapo said contractors were also installing hydrants not according to standards.
“I have issues trying to access them (hydrants),” he said.
“When contractors are putting hydrants, they are putting a 100mm pipe which makes it very difficult for fire fighters to use the stand pipe tools for water.
“The stand pipes are tight-fit and they cannot fit into those 100mm pipe (that connect) down to where the hydrant bowls are.
“A stand pipe is a tool that we screw onto the ground bowl hydrants and then we tap water from there.”
Farapo said their water hoses were not affected because they were connected to the stand pipe.
PNG Fire Service community safety superintendent Gabriel Paulus said there should be one fire hydrant every 100m.
“Fire Service and Eda Ranu should be consulted prior to construction,” he said.
“All the hydraulics and civil works, they must consult us.
“We’ve got our say to all these fire hydrants.
“Ground-ball hydrants, they are placed under the ground, but there is a piece of concrete covering it.”
Paulus said the red fire hydrants were recommended for within buildings and within 30m from the building.
“Internal fire hydrants must be 10m and six metres within the building.”
He urged all stakeholders to take responsibility for the fire hydrants.
Paulus said PNG Fire Service’s role was to maintain, paint and test them.
“We must make sure all hydrants are fully operational,” he said.
“There should be a constant flow of water within that certain period.
“We can’t leave them alone with some having water and some dry.
“There be constant flow in certain locations.”

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