Fire chief refutes Al-Rawi’s claims

By BY Gyasi Gonzales

CHIEF Fire Officer (CFO) Nayer Rampersad said claims that fire tenders at Piarco International Airport did not have any ni­tro­gen, thus affecting their ability to fight fires, were not true.

CFO Rampersad explained nitro­-

gen is used as an agent to expel the

powder or foam, which is the fire-fighting agent contained in the fire tenders, and not the actual fire-fighting agent.

 He said this means if they need­ed to respond to an emergency “right now”, they could.

Rampersad admitted, however, the levels of nitrogen in their pres­sure tanks were low and were being topped off, “as we speak”, on


On Thursday, People’s National Movement (PNM) Senator Faris Al-Rawi claimed Fire Service tenders assigned to Piarco International Airport Fire Station did not have any

nitrogen for fire-fighting purposes, and if it had not been corrected by Friday, the airport could be shut down. 

In replying to the claim, Ramper­sad said Al-Rawi’s statement made people think “we would not have the ability to fight any kind of fire or aircraft fire. The primary agent is foam and we have four major air­field crash fire tenders and three medium tenders, but the nitrogen is just a pressuring agent used to expel the dry powder”.

He said their current equipment stock meant “we have more than

the capacity for a category ten air­port and we also have a secondary supply reserve at the station to make

another attack at a fire”.

Rampersad added: “Fire cove­rage at Piarco Airport remains and we keep the IPO standard, so it does not affect the category of the airport, and it is not like the airport is going to be downgraded because of a lack of nitrogen in the tanks.”

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