Give Fire safety sensitization a national attention – Deputy Chief Fire Officer

Deputy Chief Fire Officer Dcfo Mr Kwame Kwarteng Rtd
Deputy Chief Fire Officer Dcfo Mr Kwame Kwarteng Rtd

Deputy Chief Fire Officer (DCFO) Mr Kwame Kwarteng (rtd) says fire safety sensitisation should be given national attention.

He said in certain societies, such as the United States of America and Canada, Presidents give their proclamation prior to the launch and observation of the education or sensitisation period.

He made the call at the launch of the 2022 Greater Accra Regional fire safety week celebration dubbed,” Sustaining national development through fire safety”.

Mr Kwarteng, the guest speaker, suggested that the President or Regional Ministers, for instance, should be made to launch the safety week celebration for the citizenry to take matters of fire safety seriously.

The DCFO (rtd) said the Ghana Fire Service (GFS) should involve politicians in their education just as they had been involved in promoting the “Green Ghana Programme.”

He called for a stricter adherence to safety fire protocols, punishment on negligently causing fires and prosecution to serve as a deterrent.

Fires have cost lives, injuries, death and affected the economy, adding that the funds governments use in giving support to fire victims can be channelled into Ghana’s development, he said.

He asked for the implementation of fire safety laws where building owners would be made to get fire certificates, get certified electricians to wire their structures, educate them on the need to get detectors and extinguishers, stopped from illegal electrical connections. Market women will be compelled to stop storing flammable substances in their shops to prevent undesired fires.

Mr Kwarteng said it was high time GFS got its own prosecuting unit, noting that fire officers were the best to prosecute offenders if trained on how to prosecute.

DCFO Richard Gibril Nuhu, Greater Accra Regional Fire Officer, said the launch was to conscientise the public on the need to adhere to fire safety protocols and regulations.

He said since fire safety was a shared responsibility, there was the need to partner the public, especially when approaching Christmas which would help to reduce fire outbreaks during the season.

“It is in this light that management of Ghana National Fire Service has initiated an operational contingency plan for the Christmas/harmattan seasons which includes intensifying public safety education at market centres, Churches, mosques, lorry parks, hotels, institutional premises as well as other strategic operational directives.” DCFO Nuhu said.

Mr Nuhu commended personnel for embarking on fire safety education, risk assessment, fire certification and training at workplaces, markets, lorry stations, among other public places, stating that globally, there had been a paradigm shift from firefighting to fire prevention.

He said between January and November 2022, the Command recorded 1,136 fire outbreaks out of which 386 were put-out before fire fighters arrived at the scene though within the response time, comparing records

The Fire Officer attributed this to the effective safety education and awareness that had been well patronized by the public.

Dr Opoku-Ware Ampomah, Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital. said Ghana National Fire Service was one of the important institutions in the country but was not given the necessary attention.

He suggested that fire safety should be included in the school curriculum to make sure fire safety became part of the citizens.

Dr Ampomah advised personnel not to compromise on their enabling Legislative Instrument but to ensure that the right things were done to help save more lives.

Town and Country Planning, he said, must ensure that hydrants were put at the right places to assist fire fighters’ work, saying that only old communities had them in Accra, he appealed.

He called on the Government to retool the fire fighters who daily made sacrifices to keep the society safe.
In a speech read for Deputy Chief Fire Officer Daniella Mawusi Sarpong, she called on personnel to make their presence felt in sensitive areas, particularly during the festive and harmattan seasons.

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