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Port of St. John’s Welcomes new Safety Initiative with St. John’s Regional Fire Department

December 3rd, 2019

The St. John's Port Authority (SJPA), St. John’s Regional Fire Department (SJRFD) and members of the port community are pleased to announce that 24 firefighters have completed a specialized training program designed to further reduce and mitigate the risk of shipboard fires; with another 12 SJRFD members graduating this month.

Fire Chief Sherry Colford of the SJRFD says, “There was a need to address potential risks and impacts associated with shipboard fires for members of the department, the vessel(s) themselves and surrounding properties. This effort between the Port Authority and its clients is a very positive step forward to improve safety in the community.”

Planning for this initiative began in late 2017 with numerous information sessions along with one-on-one meetings held with shipping companies, port tenants and private marine facility operators throughout the Port of St. John’s. Following consultations, the SJRFD worked with the Marine Institute’s Offshore Safety Survival Centre to develop a training program focused on delivering a combination of technical and practical components.

“The Port and community at large will greatly benefit from having an experienced and knowledgeable team at the SJRFD with the specialized training to effectively manage shipboard fires”, said Melissa Williams, Harbour Master and Manager of Marine Operations and Security of the SJPA. “Our thanks go out to the members of our port community for their vision and desire to create a safer port environment.”

Funding to develop the new training program was generously provided by members of the port community.

As a next step, the SJPA and SJRFD are working towards the creation of a permanent Port Safety and Risk Management Committee to ensure that the progress made to increase safety and manage risk continues in the Port of St. John’s.

For further information, please contact:

Sherry L. Colford, Fire Chief & Director of Regional Fire & Emergency Services, St. John’s Regional Fire Department Phone: 709-576-8683

Melissa Williams, Harbour Master and Manager of Marine Operations, St. John’s Port Authority Phone: 709-738-4782

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