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Recognition For NFA Officers

Recognition For NFA Officers
Minister for Local Government, Housing, Environment, Infrastructure and Transport Parveen Bala (fourth from left) with firefighters after the presentation of Certificates of Recognition at Labasa Fire Station on May 4, 2018. Photo: Shratika Naidu
May 05
13:37 2018

 

Six National Fire Authority (NFA) officers based at the Labasa Firestation were each awarded a Certificate of Recognition for the successful retrieval of the bodies of the two pilots and the wreckage of the Cessana 172 aircraft they were traveling in at the Delaikoro ridge in the Macuata province in February this year

The officers were Janendra Lal, Jabez Petueli, Norman Francis, Pauliasi Rokosoni, Shoneel Lal and Abele Matai.

Minister for Local Government Parveen Bala, while presenting the certificates, saluted the officers.

“When I was briefed about the rescue I realised how dangerous this mission was and how brave the officers had been,” Mr Bala said.

“I realised and recognised how they combined their training received from Japan and followed procedures strictly to complete this operation.

They responded to the call of duty.

“Through extensive media reporting we know how tough the terrain was and the course of the search operation.

“After an extensive search the wreckage was located.”

The NFA team was then led by Janendra Lal.

Upon reaching the site, the training that these officers received was demonstrated in the management of the rescue operation.

The challenging operation was carried out to retrieve the two bodies.

The team came with experience from training in Japan and were able to carry out the rescue.

This involved going 200 metres down a precarious cliff to reach the ill-fated plane.

The fact that the plane was dangerously placed on a tree, the danger of it falling another 200 metres made the operation more dangerous.

“All risk management and safety procedures were followed to enable them to secure the bodies,” Mr Bala said.

“The delicate nature of the operation caused them to delay the final rescue to the second day.

“When the bodies were finally lifted from the cliff it was handed over to Police.

“It was no easy task. I salute the rescue team.

“NFA has seen a big investment by the present FijiFirst Government to ensure fire and rescue services across Fiji were effective.

“The success of NFA in such operations indicates the investment has been worth it.

“It also provides good reasons to continue with the NFA training programmes to ensure the safety of all Fijians.

“I would like to thank the families of these officers for their commitment.

“This coming Monday, fire officers in Ba will be honoured for rescuing two pregnant women when Ba was under water.”

Edited by Epineri Vula

Feedback: shratikan@fijisun.com.fj

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