Increasing PNG’s Fire Capability
The black summer bush fire had to be the disaster of the century. Up until now, there is constant reference to the impact of the disaster on the whole ecosystem. The fire consumed vegetation and made indelible impacts on lands, but the firebreak effects were more prominent on humans.
About a year ago, Papua New Guinea members rescued Australia from the black summer bush fires and provided help by linking isolated communities through roads, revamping projects, and providing moral and social support through cultural exchange.
The government announced in January 2012 that it had redeployed a group of men from Papua New Guinea to Australia. Together with men from Townsville-based 3rd Brigade, the men got deployed to Victoria under the name Joint Task Force 646.
The reason given for this intervention by PNG’s Minister of foreign affairs was that Australia is more than a good neighbour and more of a family to their country. Ever since, the two countries (Australia and PNG) continue to share a bond that ensures the two countries’ interests are protected through combined efforts and resources.
More so, most of this personnel have chosen to stay in Australia and continue to help. There were three major joint task forces located at Victoria, NSW, and South Australia, and Tasmania based on the 4th, 5th, and 9th Brigade.
A year later, the Australian government shows appreciation by sending five fire trucks to Papua New Guinea on an HMAS Choules. The fire trucks are sent to assist their fire service and ease their jobs. Each car has the capacity of 1800 litres of water for firefighting and provides an inventory of firefighting tools and an alternative to the road crash rescue equipment.
The trucks also underwent a thorough production process to fit PNG protocols; hence the Ministry of foreign affairs included a breathing aid in the car.
The QFES (Queensland Fire and Emergency service) of Australia commented that the trucks would increase the country’s firefighting capability and fulfil the mandate of protecting its citizens. It is no doubt the truth as the government has had its fair share of fire disasters. The country is sharing boundaries with what is known as ‘The Ring of Fire’ and leads to frequent volcanic eruptions and earthquakes and tsunami.
This addition to their firefighting list of equipment which often seems endless is a great one. It would facilitate the delivery rate of the fire service in the country as well as boost efficiency. It also enhances good emergency options because the lack of adequate equipment mainly delays responses to emergencies.
The department also issues out a release on taking covid-19 caution while sending out the goods. They noted that the delivery of the PNG products would involve no direct contact or with reduced touch. Therefore, all persons witnessing the handing over of the trucks from both countries must abide by COVID-19 safety rules and engage in contactless practices as often as possible.