The Minister for the Interior, Mr. Ambrose Dery on Wednesday, November 27, 2019 opened a 3-days Ghana National Fire Service Directors and Regional Commanders Conference with a charge on the Service to increase fire safety education and improve fire fighting and rescue.
The Conference which is the 13th since its inception and themed “Modernization of the Ghana National Fire Service: The Panacea for Effective Fire Fighting and Rescue” was to amongst other objectives, provide a platform for management of the Service to meet and deliberate on their operations, Challenges and how they could strategize for the ensuing year.
It was also to enable them discuss how to operationalise the Ghana National Fire Service’s 5 Years Strategic Plan.
Addressing the participants drawn from across the country, Mr. Dery called on the general public to support the Ghana National Fire Service. He noted that Fire safety was a shared responsibility and could only be achieved through effective collaboration.
“I therefore want to urge all of you to take fire safety education seriously and be safety conscious at all times. Every one of us here has the responsibility to ensure our own safety and this should never be compromised”.
He assured of the Ministry’s commitment to ensuring that the GNFS Administrative regulations are transformed into a Legislative Instrument.
“The process has begun and it my hope that come early next year the document will come on stream to ensure better conditions of service for the hard working personnel of the Service”. Hr said.
The Minister urged the Command of the Ghana National Fire Service to consider possible ways of enforcing regulations in L.I 2249, (2016) during their deliberations.
He indicated the outcome of the Conference was of prime importance to the Ministry of the Interior which is responsible for managing the internal security of the Country.
“It is therefore our responsibility to ensure safety in the Country”. He stressed.
The Minister applauded the collaboration between the service and academia, which has resulted in personnel being awarded certificates and diplomas after successfully undergoing further training in specialised areas.
He mentioned in particular those between the University of Cape Coast (UCC) and the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) and the Ghana Police Service (GPS) and indicated that is the way to go.
The Chief Fire Officer (CFO) Mr. Edwin Ekow Blankson in his welcome address stated that the service has responded to 5,176 incidents across the country from January to date.
Of this figure, he indicated that 4,503 were fire incidents, representing 9.1 per cent compared to last year’s incidents; 518 were road traffic collision incidents and 155 were other incidents that require rescue.
He disclosed that in line with its efforts at ensuring fire safety, 11,051 fire certificates have been issued from January to date, and 3,616 fire risk assessments conducted in premises across the country.
On capacity building, he said aside the 20 officers who trained in Malta, this year, another 20 were being processed to undergo same training next year while other arrangements were being made to train more officers abroad.
The Minister for the Interior used the occasion to present 13 vehicles to the Command to facilitate its administrative mandate.
The automobiles include 11 command vehicles for directors and two 34-seater buses which would be distributed to some Departments of the Service.
The Conference will end on Friday, November 29, 2019.