The Uganda Civil Aviation Authority (UCAA) has passed out a total of 24 staff members who have completed the basic open water life-savings skills training as part of the body’s efforts to increase readiness for fire and marine rescues at Entebbe International Airport.
Speaking during the pass out, the UCAA Director General, Fred Bamwesigye said the training is part of their efforts to ensure safety of passengers and other users of Entebbe International Airport facilities, in the unfortunate event that something happens.
He explained that of the 24, four are fire fighters while the remaining 20 are marine personnel.
“The inclusion of the four fire-fighters in the acquisition of marine skills is part of the UCAA’s strategy of ensuring multi-skilling of fire and marine staff by ensuring that they attain skills in both areas so that they can be effectively deployed to undertake either of the missions, fighting fire or saving lives of people on water,” Bamwesigye noted.
He the personnel who have been trained to serve with integrity and professionalism to contribute to the attainment of UCAA’s overall objective premised on ensuring safety and security in Uganda's aviation industry.
Bamwesigye said the Aerodrome Rescue and Fire-fighting Services unit at Entebbe International Airport has continued to play a pivotal role in ensuring the safety and security of the airport operations and attending to emergencies within the surrounding water bodies, adding that with the increasing number of passengers, the demand for the unit’s services also grows.
“In May, Entebbe International Airport received 157,209 passengers, an average of 5,071 passengers per day and it is the highest figure recorded in a month since the advent of the Covid pandemic. As passenger traffic in and out of their continues to grow, it is pertinent that safety and security are also enhanced.”
“It is important that any professional continues with pursuit of knowledge that enhances skills that match the growing challenges. Technology evolves and changes a lot in the aviation industry across the globe.”
Speaking at the same function, Moses Kalanzi, the Executive Director of Swim Safe Uganda that trained the UCAA personnel said the training has equipment them with relevant skills to carry out rescue and life saving operations in case of any emergency in water.
“The training was done in both shallow and open waters as they learnt how to carry out rescue and save life. We have not only taught them how to rescue but also administration, how to do search and manage scenes. During the training, we used international standards,” Kalanzi said.
“They have been trained in open water lifesaving, survival swimming and pre-hospital care.”