Twenty-five personnel of the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) drawn from the Accra and Tema regions have undergone training in manual rescue operations in elevators.
The training was organised by the CFAO Equipment Ghana Limited, sole agents of Otis elevators in the country, in conjunction with the GNFS.
The Deputy Chief Fire Officer, Dr Albert Brown Gaisie, speaking at the opening session of the training, said rescue was an integral part of fire management.
He said as the country was developing fast and high-rise buildings were springing up, there was the need to train personnel in rescuing trapped people in elevators (in such buildings).
The Deputy Chief Fire Service Officer said some victims trapped in elevators could be asthmatic and cardiac patients who needed prompt evacuation and that the training was, therefore, necessary.
He said those involved in service delivery must assist in capacity building in fighting fire and rescue operations.
“Vehicle dealers and the other service providers must assist in the training of fighting car fires and rescue operations,” he said.
He said firefighting and rescue operations in confined spaces, like lifts and wells, required certain skills and professionalism, and gave an assurance that the GNFS would intensify the training of its personnel to handle such situations.
The Executive Director of the Engineering Department of the CFAO Equipment Ghana Limited, Mr Marin Laviolette, who presented a landing door release key to open elevators to Dr Gaisie, said the training was in response to a request made by the GNFS to his office two weeks ago.
He assured the participants that the department would present them with certificates after the training.
He said his office had already trained many people in the security services who were most of the time stationed at premises where elevators were used.
The Technical Advisor and Trainer of Otis CFAO Equipment Ghana Limited, Mr Ebenezer Agyapong Yeboah, said new electronic elevators had been introduced into the Ghanaian system which were quite different from the conventional types which used machine rooms.
He stressed the need to train the GNFS personnel who used the conventional method of breaking the doors of elevators before rescuing victims.
He explained that the electronic elevators had automatic rescue devices with backup batteries and manual rescue missions became necessary if the automatic devices failed.
Mr Agyapong Yeboah said the company had installed about 180 elevators in Accra, Tema and other parts of the country and it was necessary to train people in handling such electronic elevators.
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