Hydrants remain a worry

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THE Fire Service is stepping up its work to locate all fire hydrants in Port Moresby with six months to go before world leaders gather for their Apec summit.
Acting Chief Fire Officer Bill Roo said the Fire Service was doing its bit to ensure that all venues in the city for the leaders’ meetings were “fire safe”.
A big part of it is to locate all the fire hydrants, some of which have been buried by property developers, Roo said.
He said Eda Ranu was supposed to provide fire hydrants 80 metres apart.
But due to the development of properties taking place around the city, many of the fire hydrants and valves were buried, thus making it difficult for firefighters in the case of emergency to access water.
“The NCD Fire Station located nearest to the Apec venues or accommodations have been advised to develop their local action or response plans,” Roo said.
“Officers have also been carrying out familiarisation visits, conducting internal fire protection system inspections on site and street fire hydrant inspections.
“They are working with Eda Ranu, reporting any anomalies for them to rectify.”
Roo said the cleaning of fire hydrants had become one of the core activities of the fire service.
“Fire hydrants are used to supply fire engines with water which are then used to extinguish a fire,” he said.
“Having hydrants around the Apec venues is very important.”
Eda Ranu’s technical team is now working in the central business district downtown to upgrade the 150mm water mains to 200mm pipes along the Stanley Esplanade to cater for Apec.
They have located more than 70 fire hydrants in the downtown area alone.
“So far Eda Ranu has managed to identify the fire hydrants and started replacing old and faulty ones in
the CBD as well as placing new markers for fire officers to identify and access in case of a fire,” Roo said.
Similar inspection of hydrants have been carried out in other parts of the city to ensure they are in good working condition with ample water pressure supply as well.
Meanwhile, Japan recently announced a donation of six fully-kitted fire trucks and equipment to the Fire Service.
Japanese Ambassador Satoshi Nakajima said “it is still fresh in our minds that there were a number of big fires in Port Moresby which left many casualties and damage to properties last year and earlier this year”.
“In addition, the upcoming Apec leaders’ summit requires the PNG Fire Service to enhance its responsiveness with more equipment, apart from manpower.”

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