ACFO Kwame Larbi Apraku, Regional Fire Officer
STUDENTS IN second cycle institutions in the Sunyani Municipality and the Sunyani West District have benefited from a comprehensive fire safety education offered by the Brong- Ahafo Regional Command of the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS).
So far, personnel of the Fire Service have had a one-on-one interaction with students from Odumaseman SHS, Twene Amanfo Secondary Technical, Notre Dame Girls’ SHS, Sunyani SHS, among others, where the students were taken through fire safety mechanisms and fire prevention as well as the dos and don’ts during fire outbreaks.
Speaking to DAILY GUIDE in an interview, Deputy Regional Administrator of the GNFS, Assistant Divisional Officer II (ADO 2) Daniel Kpajal, said the programme, which is a collaboration between the Fire Service and the Ghana Education Service (GES), was being piloted in some selected secondary schools in the region.
Currently, the GNFS, in consultation with the GES, has developed a manual for the instructors so as to standardize the training programme.
He said based on its successes, it would be rolled out in the rest of the SHSs in the region and the entire nation; and would further be extended to junior high schools ‘since the National Headquarters of the GNFS has endorsed it.’
ADO 2 Kpajal stated that the GNFS realised that though it had embarked on so many campaigns such as house-to-house, market and community education as well as the media to educate the general public on fire prevention, fire outbreaks kept rising year after year.
He indicated that the programme was therefore introduced following a research finding last year which pointed to the fact that students are very good in combating fire whenever there is an outbreak – and they happen to be around.
The senior fire officer also maintained that the youth had been targeted because it is in line with international best practice – as children are often targeted at their tender ages in fire education so that they will grow up knowing how best to prevent fire.
He stated that the students would be used as conduit in creating awareness in their parents and relations on fire prevention.
ADO 2 disclosed that the Fire Service had aimed at reducing the number of fire incidents in the region by 20 percent in 2014.
FROM Fred Tettey Alarti-Amoako, Sunyani
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