MALTA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
On the British withdrawal from Malta, eight Crash & Rescue Fire Fighting Vehicles, with which a Category 7 airport could operate, were handed over by the British Forces to the Maltese Government. These vehicles, although primarily designed for the use of the Royal Air Force, were capable of meeting the safety standards required at a civilian airport.
This Crash Fire Vehicle fleet was made up of:
In addition to the Crash Vehicles, the Fire Section had in its fleet of vehicles:
Through the Financial Protocol Agreement between the Maltese and Italian Governments, the Airport Fire Section saw the arrival of the first modern Crash Fire Vehicles to replace the ageing MKVIIs .
1988 saw the arrival of:
These were followed by in 1990 by:
This was the end of the ageing MkVII and Thornycroft Nubian Crash Tenders which without doubt had served their purpose.
In 1990, the two Land-Rover Ambulances were also replaced by two modern and fully equipped Ducato Ambulances.
The Fire Section buildings have been refurbished and modernized, Advanced Training and upgrading programmes for its Firefighters have been put in motion, and the latest installation of a modern gymnasium and Lecture Room have been fitted out for the use and training of M.I.A. Firefighters. (Note in the picture on the right, the DPII and the Mark 6 in action.)
Malta International Airport has further felt the need to modernize its Fire Fighting Vehicles by purchasing:
These Rosenbauer Fire Tenders replaced the 2 Barribbi vehicles which were handed over one to the EneMalta Corporation and the other to Malta Drydocks Corporation. This change enabled MIA to upgrade Malta's international airport into a Category 9, according to I.C.A.O. standards, for the security and benefit of Airlines and Passengers.
In Gozo, at the Heliport, there is a Meteor Javelin Crash Tender, with crew for any emergency which may arise with the daily coming and
going of the Air Malta Charter Helicopter Service.
The Royal Air Force Fire and Rescue Service has been utilising the MK 9 appliance for over 25 years in operational theatres around the world. During this time, it has been superceded by the Mk 10 (5 variants), Mk 11 (2 variants - one with a hydraulic ladder) and a Mk 12.
But none of them have proven to have the all round versatility of this favourite workhorse. It is only recently, since the introduction of the new fleet of MFV's, that the Mk 9's are being replaced on the majority of RAF stations.
However, because of its proven track record, it is unlikely we will see the complete demise of this "Fireman proof" appliance.