The Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) has advised the public to get abreast with the emergency contact numbers of service stations located in their communities to quickly reach out to them in times of need.
Divisional Officer Grade III (DOIII), Nancy Amaka, Officer in Charge of the Safety Department, was speaking at the Ghana News Agency as part of a sensitisation and media engagement forum.
She said during emergencies, including fire outbreaks, flooding, accidents, and other disasters the best option was to call the GNFS emergency number close to the event for a quick response and noted that the service was ready to attend to the needs of the public.
She expressed concern that most people called wrong numbers during fire outbreaks or call, 192 which directs them to the headquarters, saying that such a process delayed the response time and the local intervention.
DOIII Amaka also urged the public to exercise the greatest restraint when providing details for emergency response as Firefighters needed accurate details and descriptions of the nearest notable structure to help reach the location.
She noted that the GNFS emergency response team most often encountered challenges as most people were not conversant with address systems and rather blame the GNFS for not arriving at the scene on time.
She urged Ghanaians to learn to give an adequate address when there was an emergency and explained that they usually preferred information such as landmarks to describe a location.
DOIII Amaka said, “some call and you ask of their address, and they presume you should know but we don’t have a system that can detect the exact location so if even we have the GPS working very well, we can even then pinpoint and say this is the exact location.”
Mr Francis Ameyibor, Ghana News Agency Tema Regional Manager, called on the public to scale up issues of safety; “security and safety must be put on the same scale to ensure that in case of emergencies one is not trapped.”
He expressed concern that most structures have security measures put in place but neglect safety routes, “most buildings have only one entrance which serves as both entry and exit while the widows and other openings are blocked against intruders but in case of any other emergency people gets trapped.”
Mr Ameyibor, therefore, called for an attitudinal and paradigm shift as safety and security are bedfellows, “we must invest in both without downplaying any.”