City gets skylift
The Council of the City of Windhoek this week officially commissioned and handed over a multifunctional fire vehicle to its Emergency Management Division. The vehicle known as the Bronto Skylift Aerial Hydraulic Platform cost N$12.5 million and will replace the 1978 30m Magirus Deutz Revolving Ladder Truck.
According to the City Mayor, Elaine Trepper, the vehicle was purchased through a company called Fire Raiders in Cape Town and was manufactured by Bronto Skylift in Finland. The company designs, manufactures, sells and services platforms meant for rescue and firefighting applications.
“It is important to note that the technical advantages of this vehicle are countless. The Bronto Skylift Aerial Hydraulic Platform is a multifunctional vehicle mounted with a rescue ladder that can reach a height of 55 meters,” she said. The new rescue vehicle will enable the City to meet the international baseline for responding to emergencies and substantially reduce fatalities from fire related incidents particularly from high-rise buildings.
The Bronto Skylift Hydraulic Platform successfully carried out its first rescue operation on 12 December 2011 when a construction worker sustained serious injuries after his leg got strangled in the steel cables of a giant crane that was operating approximately 3meters above the roof of Kenya House, a 30 meter high building close to the central business district.
The man was stuck on the crane and the medical staff and rescuers could not reach him. The Bronto Skylift Hydraulic Platform was used to airlift the rescuers to the top floor to render assistance to the injured worker and safely brought him to the ground. He was transported to hospital for further medical attention.
Trepper said fifteen Emergency Management Services officers were trained on how to operate the vehicle with some receiving training to train others to ensure that the vehicle is utilised effectively and efficiently.
“Fire can cause the total destruction of a high rise building and its content in only a few hours and no insurance policy can replace a unique structure which may have fallen victim to fire destruction. Although many lessons have been learnt in approaches to fire safety in high-rise buildings, one simple fact remains most fires occur as a result of human action or negligence,” she said.