Training Achievements and New Firefighting Kit For The Airport Fire and Rescue Service

The Airport Fire and Rescue Service has today (19 April) unveiled their new fire-fighting kit in the presence of the Hon. Gilbert Licudi QC MP, Minister with responsibility for the Fire Services.

Most notably it marks a return to the traditional navy blue colour from the golden yellow kit that has been the norm in recent years. This new kit will afford AFRS fire-fighters the essential protection to deal with the full range of fire and rescue incidents which they are trained to deal with and includes boots, helmets, gloves and flash hoods.  Every single item of Personal Protection Equipment was selected after an extensive evaluation process looking at all aspects of protection to best meet the operational needs of the AFRS, whilst also providing value for money.

This unveiling also afforded the opportunity for Minister Licudi to present the staff with certificates for numerous courses that have been undertaken over the last couple of months.  These include 18 Initial Supervisors and Incident Command Level One courses, 8 Aviation Bridging courses and 5 Breathing Apparatus Training Instructors, all the training having been undertaken locally with instructors from Edinburgh Airport Fire Training Centre.  Additionally, 8 staff members also successfully undertook Training Assessor’s courses, 2 as Breathing Apparatus Servicers with Dräger Int. in Newcastle and 2 as Fire-fighter Physical Training Instructors carried out in Manchester Airport. Added to that 4 other staff members also qualified as Emergency Response Fire Appliance Driving Instructors in a course specifically tailored for Gibraltar’s roads carried out by ERDT Ltd.

The entirety of the operational staff also recently undertook a First Responder course run by the GHA Ambulance Service, designed to increase interoperability and be able to assist the Ambulance Service at operational incidents.

The number of courses undertaken is a testament to the ongoing commitment to training and Continual Professional Development that the AFRS has demonstrated following their transfer, teaming up with various UK based fire training institutions, the GHA Ambulance Service and other professional bodies to continue to deliver the best possible service.

More recently and after an extensive selection process two new recruits have been taken on to supplement the AFRS complement and are now back from the UK where they undertook their Initial Fire-fighter’s Course at the International Fire Training Centre in Teesside. Firefighters Jonathan Falero and Daniel Cornelio have gone through an intensive training program over a number of weeks covering aviation fire-fighting as well as various aspects of structural incidents, with all of this now being complemented locally with further station specific training.

This has been an extremely busy 15 months for all the AFRS staff who aspire with eagerness and enthusiasm at their future development both as individuals and collectively as an organisation. The AFRS looks towards being as best prepared as possible to confront any eventuality that may come their way, either at the airfield or elsewhere in support of the GFRS.

Minister Licudi said, ‘I would like to congratulate the AFRS Firefighters and Management for their achievements to date. Apart from the obvious benefits that their new equipment and training brings it is most encouraging to witness the high level of professionalism at first hand.