MONTEGO BAY, St James — The firefighting capabilities of the Sangster International Airport Fire Brigade have been significantly enhanced with the arrival of a state-of-art fire truck valued at roughly $87 million.
"We are very excited; this is the first of two trucks that we have bought and the second one will arrive early March," said Eduardo Canelas, the chief executive officer for MBJ Airports Ltd, operators of the facility.
"The trucks are very important for the safety of the airport so we are all very, very excited," added Canelas, as he admired the unit at the Montego Bay Freeport Wharf yesterday, shortly before it was driven to its base at the Sangster International Airport.
Painted in Jamaica's national colours — black, green and gold — with gold the more dominant, the Oshkosh Striker 3000 unit is custom engineered to offer fast emergency response, changing from 0 to 50 mph within 35 seconds.
According to Howard Gordon, MBJ's emergency services manager, the new unit forms part of a move by the company to modernise its fleet at the Brigade.
"Our youngest unit at the moment is a 2005 truck so with this state-of-the -art unit we are basically improving on what we have... modernising the fleet and ensuring that we are up to the times," he told the Jamaica Observer.
The truck, he pointed out, has a 3,000-gallon water capacity, a foam tank size of 420 gallons and can hold up to 550 pounds of dry chemical.
"The truck is about 12 ft eight inches tall; 40 feet long and roughly 10 feet wide with a maximum speed of about 70 mph," he added.
Outfitted with systems to enhance vision in low visibility conditions, including operation during total darkness, the unit also has the ability to detect hot spots and residual heat in all light conditions.