The National, Wednesday October 16th, 2013
By ELLEN TIAMU
BUSINESSES in Lae are concerned with the lack of fire equipment and trucks as real estate and business in the city continue to grow.
Lae Chamber of Commerce president Alan McLay said it was unfortunate the Lae Fire Service remained under-resourced.
While the functions of the service were partially handed to the provincial administration, there had not been help given to it and the chamber was doing all it could to assist the Lae Fire Service to be as properly equipped as possible.
The chamber and Rotary Club in Lae had bought and donated a second-hand fire truck from Queensland for Lae 10 years ago and attempts to obtain a second one continue.
The truck was retired a few months ago.
The fire service was boosted recently with a new fully-kitted truck.
McLay said Lae was growing rapidly and needed another fire station.
“If we look at Port Moresby, which is a city twice the size of Lae, where four fire stations operate, then it would seem appropriate that Lae needs two stations,” he said.
“The unfortunate thing is that the Fire Service of PNG is betwixt and between.”
He said when some of the functions were handed to the provinces some years ago, no-one had taken responsibility to look after all the fire services needs.
McLay said while businesses appreciated the fact that firemen performed really well under the circumstances they operated, there was a real need to improve their capacity and to have a second branch operational.
“We have already addressed this with the Commissioner of the PNG Fire Services and we intend to raise this with the Governor (Kelly Naru) at the next opportunity we get,” he said.