8 Apr 2014

Call for Vanuatu to get fire legislation

5:51 pm on 8 April 2014

An executive member of the Pacific Island Fire Association says establishing legislation to support Fire officers in Vanuatu will help the service tackle their issue of fuel shortages.

This comes after a recent fire in Port Vila was left to burn because the fire truck at a nearby station had no fuel.

Jill Edwards who mentors fire officers in the Pacific says no fuel for fire trucks is something she has not seen in the region before.

She encourages Vanuatu to follow Fiji, Samoa and Tonga which have fought towards implementing legislation in their Fire departments.

"These sorts of things are always a matter for the national government to work through. One of the key factors that does assist is for the fire and emergency services to have their own legislation and within that legislation, various aspects that empowers them to be able to fulfill their roles within the advice and boundaries that the government set. From experience within the pacific, the benefits that have been realized by establishing that individual specific legislation have been extraodinary.

Ms Edwards says the Vanuatu fire service should work with the government to create legislation which could include a mandate to provide fuel.