Roatan firefighters got an assist from the Honduran Central Government in the form of two new fire engines and Lps. 1 million to build a new fire station next to the jetty at Oak Ridge.
The new engines, the first of which was inaugurated at a ceremony at Dixon Cove March 30, are more capable than the older equipment on the island, incorporating cannon that can shoot water 50 meters. Italo Tugliani, comandante de bomberos, said they were also smaller than the older units, meaning they can get into more locations.
The units – TGM 18.240s – are assembled in Austria by Rosenbauer, with Man diesel engines made in Germany, and cost $450,000 each.
“This vehicle comes equipped to handle any circmustance,” said Interior Minister Africo Madrid, who represented the Central Government at the March 30 ceremony. He said Roatan’s growing population and the rising number of tourists required improved firefighting capability on the island.
The second fire engine is expected to arrive in November and will be stationed at the new fire station at Oak Ridge.
“We’re very proud of this,” said Romeo Silvestri, who represents the Bay Islands in the National Congress. “It’s the first time we’ve had anything this brand new.”
Silvestri said landing these fire engines for Roatan was the result of a combined effort among his office, the Interior Ministry in Tegucigalpa and the municipal administration of Mayor Julio Galindo. He said he had also secured a fire boat for Guanaja and was working on getting firefighting support for Utila. [/private]