To tackle the menace of fire, with support from Government of the Canton of Zurich, Switzerland, a fire training facility was inaugurated, which is first of its kind at Chamgang, Thimphu yesterday.
Chief of Police Brigadier Chimmi Dorji said that the journey of partnership between RBP and the Canton of Zurich first started in November 2012 when the former Chief of Police led a delegation to Canton of Zurich with a mandate to raise some funds for developing fire fighting and traffic.
The Canton of Zurich responded to the request to strengthen the Fire protection and traffic management, he added. He said, “This training is the first of its kind in the country and this structure is going to develop the capacity and capability of the fire fighters on a real time basis.”
Today, RBP is receiving the support of the Department of Security of the Canton of Zurich and Building Insurance Company of the Canton of Zurich in two projects namely; road safety and capacity building project and fire safety project.
The construction of the fire training facility amounted to Nu 10.9 mn and was funded by the government of the Canton of Zurich, Switzerland.
Lyonpo Sherub Gyeltshen said that the two projects have immensely helped develop the capacities of the officers of RBP as well as improved the working conditions of the police personnel by providing traffic equipment, fire training facilities and other expertise.
He said, “I am confident that this generous assistance will immensely benefit Bhutan and enable RBP in strengthening its capacity to efficiently and effectively deal with fire hazards. More importantly, it will help save lives and properties of the people and the state.”
Mr. Mario Ferh, Minister of the Government if the Canton of Zurich in the gathering shared that basically the initial point of this project was the disastrous fire of Wangdue Phodrang Dzong back in 2012.
He said, “At this time I became clear that fires like this should be prevented from the very beginning. This facility will help to train the fire fighters and therefore to make them even more ready for their daily duty. The facility consisting of several oversea containers enables various situations of training.”
He also said that more material is coming in another container in the bright lemon colour of Zurich fire fighters which includes portable water pumps, breathing apparatus, washing machine for the fire-fighter cloths, radio and many more things.
“It makes us very happy to be able to support Bhutanese fire fighters and therefore RBP in its ambition to get even better in their profession and passion. Together with on-site training with our staff at the end of the September you will have everything needed,” he added.
At present, the fire division under RBP has 57 fire fighter vehicles in total whereas in Thimphu alone, they have 7 fire fighter vehicles and 3 rescue and support vehicles.