Three hundred and ninety-eight Ghana National Fire Service recruits have passed out at the Fire Academy and Training School of the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) in Accra.

The recruits, comprising of ninety nine fire women and two hundred and ninety-nine fire men had successfully completed the Recruit Course 48, which exposed the Senior High School, Technical/Vocational and City and Guilds school recruits to the rudiments of the fire-fighting profession.

Mr. Ambrose Dery, Minister for the Interior, who reviewed the parade mounted by the recruits, said security was one of the most essential needs of every country, of which fire safety was paramount.

He said the GNFS had a major role to play when it came to ensuring a safe and secured environment for businesses to thrive.

The Minister indicated that government, was aware of the many challenges confronting the Service and was determined to retool it and transform it into an institution capable of delivering world class fire and rescue services.

”Government in this regard has approved the procurement of two hydraulic platforms which are special equipment used to access high rise buildings extending beyond fifteen (15) floors. These pieces of equipment would arrive in the country during the year.

The Government is also in talks with the Service regarding the supply of other essential equipment and resources for the smooth running of the Service” he said.

He further disclosed that government, had since assumption of office in 2017, prioritized welfare issues of personnel of the Service and it was in that light that, Government in January, 2017 started paying rent allowances to personnel of the Service to cater for their accommodation needs.

Mr. Dery also stated that clearance, had been given to the Service to recruit 1,000 more personnel to augment the current limited number, which would improve the current fireman-citizen ratio of 1:4303, an unacceptable ratio per the United Nations standard of 1:800.

He commended the Service for the sacrifices and dedication to duty.

“It is gratifying to note that even in the face of some challenges which confront this organization, the Service has performed creditably in fire management in the country”. He said.

The Minister advised the recruits to demonstrate utmost commitment in the discharge of their duties to humanity and in the spirit of self-sacrifice.

“I urge you to learn from your forebears so as to discharge your duties as professionals for the betterment of our country Ghana in general and National Fire Service in particular,” he said.

He admonished the Service to engage more with members of the public to enable them to understand its mode of operation so as to earn their support in the achievement of organisational goals and targets.

Awards were presented to deserving recruits, with Recruit Fire Woman, Veronica Ababio Aggrey, receiving the Overall Best Recruit Award.