The Aitutaki Volunteer Fire Rescue Brigade will get a brand new fire rescue station, a pump truck and a tank truck thanks to a generous grant from the Government of Japan.
A total of $241,573 has been allocated to the project under Japan’s Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects, taking the total number of grants approved in the Cook Islands to 26.
The Government of Japan will provide grant assistance for the provision of a pump truck and a tank truck and construction of a fire rescue station for the Aitutaki Volunteer Fire Rescue Brigade Charitable Trust.
The project aims to improve the volunteer fire rescue brigade’s capacity to promptly and effectively respond to fire outbreaks and other emergencies with two newly equipped fire vehicles.
At the grant contract presentation ceremony held in Wellington, New Zealand earlier in January, Japan’s Ambassador Hiroyasu Kobayashi signed the grant contract along with Aitutaki Volunteer Fire Rescue Brigade Charitable Trust chairman and trustee Paul Maoate.
Ambassador Kobayashi congratulated the Aitutaki Volunteer Fire Rescue Brigade Charitable Trust on the successful conclusion of its project proposal through its strong leadership and dedication, along with hardworking community members.
He was also very pleased to note that this project has positive and cooperative support from Teimurimotia Volunteer Fire Rescue Brigade in Rarotonga. That brigade received two pump trucks and a tank truck from the Japanese Government in August 2018, and an aerial ladder truck last year.
Titikaveka station officer Alistair Macquarie said the 15-metre ladder truck had been a first for Rarotonga, and was much-needed. “The fire we had at the Raromart in town, we had great difficulty in trying to put water into that building because it was that high,” he said.
The ambassador said he hoped the project would progress smoothly towards its scheduled date of completion and would continue to create additional symbols of friendship and cooperation between Japan and the Cook Islands.