Firefighters on two-week hazardous material response training


The eight firefighters with their air tickets in a souvenir photo with Messrs Morel and Rose

During the training at the Emergency Training Centre (ETC) in Johannesburg, they will also learn how to plan the response to hazardous materials, notably chemicals, and implement plans to counter the danger.
Their training shall also include initiating protective actions and establishing emergency decontamination procedures.

The eight, who all have over five years experience in fire fighting, were yesterday presented with their air tickets by Fire and Rescue Services Agency chief executive.

Andre Morel. His deputy Albert Rose was also present at the short ceremony at the fire and rescue services headquarters on Latanier Road. The Seychelles government is sponsoring their training and air tickets.

The eight firefighters who will be following the training are Joe Gabriel, Wilson Laurence, William Constant, Berard Julie, Benjamin Commettant, Robinson Cadeau, José Rose and Mathew Jones.

Underlining the importance of the training, Mr Morel noted that there have been several incidents recently in Seychelles involving hazardous materials, mainly chemicals such as ammonia. 

He recalled that three years ago there were two fatalities aboard French purse seiner Le Titan caused by ammonia leakage. Recently there was also a leak of hazardous chemicals near the Seychelles Trading Company supermarket.
The training will also cover investigation, fire safety and ship fire fighting to help the officers become more capable in responding efficiently to emergencies.

Mr Morel said the course will be followed by another at a more advanced level next year which will run for three weeks.

The Fire and Rescue Services Agency has a personnel of 118. A fire station is planned on Praslin next year and another on La Digue.

Mr Morel said that response to a fire in a house usually necessitates the deployment of two fire engines with 10 firefighters. Should the fire reported be more widespread, then more fire engines and more men are deployed.

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