S/L Airport Authority Certifies 98 Rescue Personnel & Fire Fighters


The Sierra Leone Airport Authority has certified 98 rescue and fire fighters that have completed a 16-week long intensive training.

Speaking during the certification ceremony recently, the General Manager, Ebenezer Macauley said, out of the 102 recruited for the training, 98 personnel successfully went through the training including 5 military officers from the Air wing of the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF).

He commended the National Fire Force (NFF) for supporting the exercise by providing technical expertise and the Ghana Airports Company Limited for sending its instructors to train the personnel.

He disclosed that over USD77, 000 was spent on the course including lodging, feeding, accommodation, gadgets for the trainees, hotel and travelling fare for the instructors from Ghana.

The General Manager further explained that the training of the rescue personnel and fire fighters is in compliance with international aviation standards.

Chief Fire Officer, Ghana Airports Company Limited, Samuel Qtoo, in his remarks said the training had been long awaited as the process was stalled due to the Ebola outbreak and other challenges.

He said the training will go a long way in improving rescue and firefighting operations in the airport and thanked the managements of the Sierra Leone Airports Authority and Ghana Airports Company Limited for their support in ensuring the success of the exercise.

He implored the newly trained fire fighters to be always vigilant as any movement of a flight is a potential accident, adding that the 16 weeks intensive training is in line with international aviation standards that require rescue and fire fighters to respond to any accident in 2 minutes.

He commended the personnel for excelling both in the theoretical and physical exercises and expressed hope that the standards already set be maintained and sustained.

Commander Air Wing – RSLAF, Group Captain Hassan Coomber, in his remarks noted that it is an aspiration of the airport management to improve standards there and thanked all those involved in the training.

He said the training has not only created job opportunities for many able-bodied men and women but also created a platform for networking.

Captain Coomber acknowledged the training has impacted greatly on the RSLAF, saying that he is upbeat that under the New Direction more opportunities will be created for the air wing to grow.

He concluded by saying that he looks forward to more trainings and urged the newly trained personnel to follow procedures, exercise regularly and work as a team.

Station Manager- Lungi, Civil Aviation Authority (SLCAA), Kugbeh Tucker, in his brief remarks urged the personnel to be always ready to respond to emergency situations.

Chairman Board of Directors, Sierra Leone Airports Authority, Edward L. Williams, said he was happy to have witnessed the first rescue and fire fighters certification ceremony, adding that the importance of the sector cannot be overemphasized.

He said in the past they have learnt lots of lessons and spoke on the need for more educated and young people to be given such jobs, adding that promotion will be based on performance and competency. He also assured that the Board and management will continue making the sector vibrant.

In his keynote address, Deputy Minister of Transport and Aviation, Sadick Sillah, maintained that President Bio campaigned on a platform of New Direction by injecting more life into human capital development.

He said that is why he (President Bio) has introduced Free Quality Education and the GM of the Airport has taken it further by providing free training for adults.

He urged management and team to maintain watertight security at the airport because of the global threat posed by terrorism.

The Deputy Minister urged the newly trained personnel to make themselves and their office relevant, be proactive, not to allow dropping of cigarettes jots, ensure electrical appliances are switched off and always inspect electrical cables and other connections to make sure they are in good working order to prevent fire outbreaks.

He disclosed that within the shortest time, President Bio has embarked on many projects that speak to the development of the airport, adding that soon the country will start to use its own expertise to design its own projects, do costing for development projects like the construction of the Lungi Bridge, terminal, hospital and hotels.

He maintained that this SLPP Government under President Bio believes in making Lungi a new city than Mamamah.