The Upper East Regional Fire Service Commander, Divisional Officer Grade 1 (DO1) George Wiafe, has appealed to government to assist the Regional Office with vehicles to facilitate training of fire volunteers across the Region.
He said the Service as part of its mandate, and per the Chief Fire Officer’s guidelines was mandated to train fire volunteers across the Region to augment the main stream firefighters, but expressed worry that the vision was not fully achieved.
This, according to him was because the Service was challenged with the lack of pick-up vehicles to transport the team to the various communities to conduct the training.
“We will therefore be grateful if through your good office, the service is well resourced with pick-ups and other requisite training materials to perform this mandate effectively,” he said.
DO1 Wiafe made the appeal on Wednesday when Mr Ambrose Dery, the Minister for Interior visit to the Regional Headquarters as part of his two-day working visit to the Region to interact with men and women of the various security Services under the Ministry of Interior.
Considering the nature of settlements in the Region, the Commander said the use of motor bikes with fire gadgets mounted on them could be procured for the Service, “These motorbikes in the event of an outbreak of fire can be dispatched immediately to commence firefighting while waiting for the arrival of the fire engine.”
“We will even be happier if government can procure more fire engines to enable the Service open more stations to serve the good people in the region and Ghana at large.”
He said in spite of the numerous challenges of the Service, the Region fought 218 fires from January to August this year, as against 289 same period last year, and attended 36 rescue operations as compared to 44 last year.
The Commander attributed the reduction to the intensified fire safety education programmes including; house to house safety inspection and education.
He thanked government for the approval of the current recruitment exercise, and for the release of funds for in-service training, “most recent is the trip of some fire officers to Malta for refresher training.”
He acknowledged the collaboration between the Service and the University of Cape Coast on forensic courses, which was currently ongoing, and expressed hope that such trainings would be organised continuously to enhance the capacity of firefighters.
Addressing the Officers, Mr Dery said President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo appreciated the role of the Fire Service, and government was committed to building the Service to international standards, hence its relationship with Malta.
“We will consider the vehicles that you are talking about, we want to make you comfortable so that you can continue to do your work,” he said, and admonished the Officers to exhibit professionalism in the discharge of their duties.
He observed that in disaster situations, many people died because they were not handled properly, and said government would equip fire officers with the necessary training and skills to enable them save lives, and contribute to nation building.