Aji’s

One stuck firetruck highlights San Pedro’s needs for more firefighting options

Posted on Updated on

San Pedro's firetruck stuck in soft sand in front of Paco's Tiki Bar while responding to a fire at nearby Aji's restaurant on Thursday night. Bringing the right equipment for the right fire is key.
San Pedro’s firetruck stuck in soft sand in front of Paco’s Tiki Bar while responding to a fire at nearby Aji’s restaurant on Thursday night. Bringing the right equipment for the right fire is key. (Photos by Melina Weissman)
San Pedro's firetruck stuck in soft sand in front of Paco's Tiki Bar while responding to a fire at nearby Aji's restaurant on Thursday night.
San Pedro’s firetruck stuck in soft sand in front of Paco’s Tiki Bar while responding to a fire at nearby Aji’s restaurant on Thursday night.

A fire at Aji’s Tapa Bar & Restaurant‘s palapa bar on North Ambergris Caye, Thursday night, brought out the San Pedro firetruck. It got stuck in the sand in front of Paco’s Tiki Bar, just north of Aji’s, as it tried to find access to the waterfront eatery.

The restaurant was already repairing the fire damage on Friday and restaurant operation has not been halted by the fire, according to a neighbor.

The operation of the firetruck, however, was halted in the sand until Saturday morning. The truck was seen heading south for home around 10:30 a.m. Saturday morning.

Bringing the right equipment to the right fire is important — but everyone knows that the options are limited to two trucks for the San Pedro Fire Station, the pumper and the big wagon (seen here).

Ironically, my friend and a San Pedro civic leader Amanda Syme recently relayed a timely and cost-efficient suggestion for bolstering the fire department’s options during a Facebook conversation. She said this suggestion came up in a recent Emergency Management meeting.

Small pumper can be set up quickly to fight fires while waiting for the fire department to arrive.
Small pumper can be set up quickly to fight fires while waiting for the fire department to arrive.

Said Amanda: “On the island, a natural water source is typically nearby and other areas often have swimming pools. The pump (at left) that was used to pump water from the sea helped immensely and could provide two hoses. The cost of the pump is only $15K BZD.

“If there were a number of these distributed around the island they could certainly assist with containing a fire whilst awaiting the fire department. Most definitely a serious purchase consideration for some of the resorts that can maintain and service the pumps and have them in readiness. And perhaps hotel staff could be trained to use them. The pump can be mounted on a trailer that can be pulled by a golf cart.”

Makes sense to me. Most people would rather be pulling a small pumper around than pulling a big old firetruck out of the sand.

What do you think?