The health of firefighters battling an inferno at the Central Medical Stores has been put at risk as they are forced to resort to the use of expired face masks in the chemically hazardous environment.
Apart from the fact that they have expired, the face masks currently being used are only suitable for surgical purposes and definitely not for firefighting.
The fire officers have had to make do with the situation because they have run out of oxygen masks.
The medical supply disaster at Ghana’s largest drug supply and distribution center has exposed the lack of preparedness of the Ghana Fire Service for major disasters.
Officials have complained about the lack of required equipment and tools as they battle the blaze. The Chairman of the Fire Service Council has also lamented the lack of funds to procure much-needed firefighting equipment.
He revealed that the National Fire Service had taken stock of breathing apparatus but the quantities provided were insufficient. The equipment he said, though scanty, was distributed across the country.
Citing the recent fires such as the ECG and Melcom warehouse blazes, he explained that chemical compounds such as the foaming agent used to smother the flames in such large fires had been exhausted and as such stocks were already running low prior to the central stores tragedy.
He was of the opinion that Government has shown a lot of commitment towards the safety of firefighters but cited the high cost of equipment and lack of adequate funding as reasons for the service being found lacking.
15 fire engines involved in putting out the defiant blaze run out of water during the fight. Private water tanker operators were called in to support the fire officers. Story by Ghana|Myjoyonline|Edwin Appiah|[email protected]
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