Uganda plans to establish rescue and emergency training schools with the aim of producing first class rescue and fire fighting experts in the region.
This was revealed by Deputy managing Director Civil Avian Authority (CAA) Fred Bamwesigye during the passing out of 25 fire fighters and marine rescuers who have been undergoing four training at the Entebbe International Airport last Friday.
Bamwesigye said there is high demand for such professionals especially in the aviation industry, but most Countries in the region sends their employees abroad to acquire skills in fire fighting and marine rescues.
“Within a period of two years, the institute will be in place to put Uganda on the international map as far as producing professional fire fighters and marine rescues professionals is concerned,” he said.
Bamwesigye observed that the aviation industry, both in Uganda and the region, is growing due to advancement in technology; the reason behind the growth in passengers and cargo traffic figures being registered especially at the Entebbe airport every year thus the need for the services of both fire fighting and marine rescue professionals to offer services at the various airports in case accidents occur.
According to him, in 2017, Entebbe handled about 1,620,000 international passengers and about 69,000 metric tonnes of cargo up from 118,000 passengers and 6,600 metric tons of cargo in 1991 when CAA was established.
Out of the 25 trainees, 19 were trained in fire fighting and 6 in marine rescue services. The personnel were equipped with skills related to airport familiarization (covering all types of airports and aircraft familiarisation (details of aircrafts).
Other skills acquired
Other skills acquired include Levels of protection/ Extinguishing agents and personal safety as well as communication systems for both the marine recues and fire fighters.
On the capacity to handle aviation accidents at Entebbe and other national Aerodromes across the various parts of the company, CAA Public Affairs manager Vianney Lugya said the authority has the equipment for both marine and fire fighting ranging from fire trucks and marine boats.
He explained that on the fire department, the fleet of trucks has increased to 10 serviceable fire trucks. Of these, five are stationed at Entebbe and the rest in Arua, Gulu Kososro and Soroti Aerodromes.
On the marine side, CAA has three well equipped marine boats including one catamaran boat with life rafts and carrying capacity of 32 people. This is in addition to two rescue boats with one boat with life rafts and carrying capacity of 222 persons each and the team is equipped with diving equipment and 31 personnel.
The chief Fire Officer at Entebbe International Airport Samuel Atubua told the trainees to execute their work professionally if they are to excel in their endeavours.
BY SAMUEL NABWIISO