The Bay Class landing ship is en route to deliver five fire trucks to Papua New Guinea.
HMAS Choules has been tasked with delivering five fire trucks to Papua New Guinea (PNG), donated by the Queensland Fire and Emergency Service (QFES).
The trucks, which will be used to support the PNG Fire Service’s local firefighting efforts, have been donated in acknowledgement of PNG’s assistance during the Black Summer Bushfires.
“A year ago, Australia was thanking the 100 members of the PNG Defence Force who came to our aid during the Black Summer Bushfires, assisting with reconnecting isolated communities in the Gippsland region by clearing roads and debris, as well as boosting local morale by sharing songs and culture,” Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds said.
“It is fitting that we are delivering this capability to our PNG wantoks one year later, in the spirit of ongoing support, gratitude and co-operation.
“Australia and PNG share a deep friendship based on shared values of security, peace and prosperity for all nations in the Pacific. Through shared capabilities we are better equipped to work together and respond to challenges in times of need.”
The refurbished Type 2 urban fire trucks carry 1,800 litres of firefighting water and a full complement of Road Crash Rescue equipment, along with a comprehensive inventory of firefighting equipment.
The fire trucks have also been fitted out with updated breathing apparatus funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, which ensures they are compliant with existing systems in PNG.
QFES Commissioner Greg Leach said such equipment ensure emergency service personnel respond to crises quickly and effectively.
“It is a pleasure for QFES to gift these five trucks to the Papua New Guinea Fire Service, to assist it to build capability and capacity in their mission to protect the community and save lives,” Leach said.
“This project would not have been possible without the support of the Australian Defence Force to transport the trucks to Port Moresby.”