Firefighter puts public’s safety first

By Pai Mulitalo Ale ,

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SENIOR FIREFIGHTER: Kereta Samia who was on frontline duty at Matautu Wharf.

SENIOR FIREFIGHTER: Kereta Samia who was on frontline duty at Matautu Wharf.

Senior firefighter, Kereta Samia did not think twice about his own life but he was more concerned about the lives of the public who might have been in danger. 

As a senior firefighter, Samia said he believes he can deal with any dangerous situation that comes his way. 

“I didn’t think about the fact that where we were, was very risky that day, because our first job was to try and put out the fire.”aid Samia. 

Samia said what he was worried about were the underground fuel pipes and the concern that if the fire reached them, the whole town could explode. 

And it would cost many lives. 

After being in the force for more than 10 years, Samia said this is the most dangerous situation he has ever been in. 

“We have worked on big fires, especially house fires and forest fires but this is the first incident that involved fuel,” he added.

Being around the fuel tank at Matautu, Samia said he was aware he could be facing injury or death but God gave him the courage to work with his boys to put out the fire in time to contain the greater danger to Apia. 

He also said firefighters have been taught to be alert at any time for any kind of fire ant to be prepared to deal with it.

The surrounding area of the fuel tank, he said was really hot, but they were partly shielded by the tank cover that had blown off. 

“We were standing five meters from the fuel tank and that was the closest we could get. “

“I couldn’t ask for more from God but to praise his name in gratitude that we were spared from the danger and that we managed to contain and eventually put out the fire.” 

In light of this particular incident, Samia confirmed there is an urgent need for specific training and relevant equipment. 

He said that while he was in Japan for three months,  they had undertaken training on a ladder truck. 

“With the Monday incident, I wished that we had had a ladder truck here in Samoa, so that there would be no problem trying to put the foam into the fuel tank because those ladders can go 30 meters high which is higher than the fuel tanks.” 

Samia is a father of two children. He is 35 years of age and he is from the village of Fagali’i Uta.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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