…receives support from Taiwan
BASSETERRE, St. Kitts - THE bilateral relations between the Republic of China on Taiwan and St. Kitts and Nevis continue to grow in strength, as the Asian island has has yet again donated another equipment to the Federation’s national security apparatus.
Over the last 10 years the Embassy in Basseterre has donated a number of vehicles and fire tenders, all in the name of national security, and today (Jul. 19) the relationship was again underscored with the donation of a US$700,000 fire tender to be based at the Robert Llewellyn Bradshaw International Airport.
Garfield Hodge, Acting Fire Chief, disclosed that the 2022 6×6 Panther tender is one of the latest models that adds to the fleet of aircraft firefighting and rescue appliances within the fleet of the Fire and Rescue Services.
“This brand new state-of-the-art 6×6 Panther is primarily intended to actively combat aircraft fires and to assist and protect the airport rescue team during evacuation of passengers. It has the capacity to deliver fast and safe response as well as effective agent discharge,” Hodge explained.
The Embassy of the Republic of China on Taiwan covered the full cost of the vehicle and also the cost to have it shipped to St. Kitts and Nevis.
While speaking to the gathering of member of the Fire and Rescue Services and the National Security hierarchy in the Federation, Hodge revealed that the selection of the tender was done with careful consideration, as it boasts of a 4-stroke diesel engine, automatic power shift transmission system, permanent all-wheel drive, high-performance coil spring suspension system and single-wheel configuration, among other capabilities.
Taiwan’s Resident Ambassador, Michael Lin underscored the importance of the bilateral relations between the Federation and his country, as St. Kitts and Nevis continues to bat for the Asian island to be included within many international organizations.
Against that backdrop, he outlined the assistance thus far provided to the national security apparatus in the Federation.
“In 2014, Taiwan donated 10 police cars to the Royal Police Force. Then in 2019, another 12 police cars were donated to the Royal Police Force. From 2018 to 2022 we also helped to set up the new CCTV road surveillance system in St. Kitts as well as in Nevis. Therefore, it further exemplifies Taiwan’s substantial support for the Federation.”
While filling in for an absent Minister of National Security, Permanent Secretary Osmond Petty explained that there was budget allocation for a new tender, but a smaller one, before the Taiwanese chipped in to assist in procuring the vehicle.
He thanked the Ambassador for the assistance and outlined that the Prime Minister, through the Government, continues to support the Fire and Rescue Services in anyway necessary.