Firefighters Undertaking Overseas Recertification

June 15, 2024 | 9 Comments

“Firefighters of the Bermuda Fire and Rescue Service’s Airport Operations Division are undertaking overseas recertification courses,” Minister of National Security Michael Weeks said in the House of Assembly.

The Minister’s full statement follows below:

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to notify this Honourable House that firefighters of the Bermuda Fire and Rescue Service’s Airport Operations Division are undertaking overseas recertification courses. The aim of this training is to maintain competency and keep the BFRS in compliance with the regulatory mandates of the Civil Aviation Authority.

Mr. Speaker, all 48 of the firefighters attached to the Airport Operations Division must be re-certified annually. The requisite training grounds are not available in Bermuda, requiring our firefighters to travel overseas to receive this critical training and recertification. Firefighters travel on a rotational basis according to their annual certification expiration date. There is no effect on operations or manning of the airport, as sufficient numbers of firefighters remain on island to provide the appropriate level of coverage. The BFRS currently utilizes three training centres depending on the time of year and course availability. The locations are Fire and Emergency Services Training Institute [FESTI] in Toronto, Canada; Newcastle International Training Academy in the United Kingdom [UK]; and Fire International Fire Training Centre [IFTC] also in the UK.

Mr. Speaker, the course is a three-day Aviation Firefighter Revalidation course which aims to provide the knowledge and skills necessary to comply with the requirements of the International Civil Aviation Organization [ICAO]. The course is structured for BFRS personnel who have already successfully completed an Aviation Firefighter Initial course or equivalent. The course includes training modules in the following:

  1. Understanding and utilizing the principles of Dynamic Risk Assessment [DRA] and Safe Person concept;
  2. Understanding the appropriate actions to take, and the tactics and techniques that should be employed, in response to an aircraft accident or incident;
  3. Utilizing a range of Primary and Secondary firefighting media currently in use for aviation firefighting; and
  4. Developing and proving competency in the use of Fire Service Major Foam Vehicle Appliances and equipment during a range of simulated aircraft accidents or incidents.

Mr. Speaker, the course also covers the practices and policies of several international airport firefighting standards including:

  1. the UK Civil Aviation Authority’s CAP 168 – Certificates of Competency, and CAP 699 – Standards for the Competence of Rescue and Firefighting Service [RFFS];
  2. the International Civil Aviation Organization [ICAO] Document Annex 14; and
  3. the Airport Services Manual Part 1, Rescue and Firefighting.

Mr. Speaker, teamwork is an important skill for firefighters as many of their firefighting operations require the involvement of the entire team to ensure safety. As such, teamwork is reinforced throughout the course, with firefighters encouraged to work together to successfully achieve defined aims and objectives. The structured learning programme is formally assessed through oral and practical assessments. On successful completion, the firefighters will be issued with a certificate of competence highlighting the units achieved.

Mr. Speaker, having firefighters recertified is integral to the continued safe operations of the BFRS Airport Operations Division, and by extension, we remain in compliance with international airport requirements which enables Bermuda to operate the L F Wade International Airport. These recertification courses provide our firefighters with the training necessary to maintain their specialized skill set.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to wish the firefighters well as they undertake these courses, and on behalf of all of Bermuda, thank them for the work they do to keep Bermuda safe.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

click here banner airport 2

Read More About

Category: Accidents and fires, All, News

Comments (9)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Ringmaster says:

    After the disastrous response to the fire in the boatyard in St Georges, all firefighters need to be trained in how to deal with a Class B fire. The use of sea water only spreads the fire as shown by the total destruction of 47 or so boats. It seems that budget constraints severely limits the amount of foam available on the island. much like only 1 lightbulb for Gibbs Hill lighthouse. Perhaps some of the money used for “free” LED bulbs that are sitting wasting away in post offices could have been better spent on a spare lightbulb or two.

    • Question says:

      And on a similar point, heaven help us if there ever is an actual emergency at the airport.

    • Joe Bloggs says:

      Dealing with an aircraft emergency is different from any other sort of firefighter training. Most airports have dedicated firefighters that are outside the community fire brigade structure and training for that very reason.

      This training was always necessary.

    • Truth says:

      Why couldn’t they borrow a lamp from one of the schools, or theatres, that have them in their inventory.

  2. Hilarious! says:

    When will the Bermuda Fire and Rescue Service get trained and equipped to put out EV fires?

  3. LOL - the real one says:

    We certainly use Canada for many tings….yet, we hate them so much and disparage them every chance we get.

  4. comfortably numb says:

    Instead of 48 air fares, 48 hotel rooms and the 48 X $100 per diem for food wouldn’t it make financial sense to fly in a trainer or two to provide the necessary education? Or does that make too much sense?

    • Joe Bloggs says:

      Where will we get the aircraft fuselages for the firefighters to train in?

      And does Bermuda have enough specialised equipment necessary for the firefighters to train on whilst the trainers have spares in case of emergency?

Leave a Reply