General News of Thursday, 31 December 2015
President John Dramani Mahama on Wednesday announced a logistics package for the staff and management of the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) to enhance fire fighting performance in the coming years.
He said apart from procuring 232 fire tenders for the service, government is also considering hydraulic ladders that would reached out to high rise buildings that are springing up in the country.
President Mahama announced this when he joined the management and staff of the GNFS at the 2015 end of year get-together in Accra.
The programme attracted officers of the service within and outside the capital and other patrons from the security services in the country.
President Mahama said the current hydraulic ladders the service could not go beyond six floors and it is therefore expedient to acquire the higher ones to make the GNFS well prepared for any eventuality, particularly now that there are buildings beyond 20 floors.
He said 24 more fire tenders are expected in the coming days, giving the assurance that all political districts would be equipped with fire tenders to become the best in West Africa.
The President said the service has identified fire prone areas in the country and would therefore provide more cover to ensure fire-free in those areas in the coming days.
He appealed to the leadership of the service to educate the public on their performance to avoid unnecessary negative criticisms they receive during fire outbreak.
Mr James Agalga, Deputy Minister of the Interior urged the staff and management to use the opportunity to review their performance and improve on areas they fell short in the performance of their duties.
He commended the service for their performance on June 3 floods and fire disasters that claimed more than 150 lives.
He said although there are financial allocation challenges, the service managed to perform its duties creditably to the admiration of Ghanaians.
Dr Albert Brown Gaise, Chief Fire Officer commended President Mahama for providing the necessary logistics to fight fires and other disasters within an average of 10 minutes unlike the past average of 30 minutes.
He said 824 fire safety systems have been installed at gas filling stations throughout the country, while other measures are underway to improve fire fighting.
He said a total of 638 personnel of the service in 2015 received training programmes to upgrade and build their capacity in fire fighting and other preventive measures.
Dr Gaisie however complained about inadequate water centres for the service to face the fire outbreaks at various locations.
Awards were given to past chief fire officers and other senior officers.