Government has expressed grave concern on recent physical attack on fire fighters by the public.
These attacks, occur mostly because of purported delayed response to a fire, accident or perceived wrong technique in fighting a fire or rescuing victims by fire fighters with the most recent ones being the attack and injury of three (3) fire fighters at Dawhenya, Afianya Junction and one on a fire engine and personnel at Asamankese.
To this end, the Minister for the Interior, Mr. Ambrose Dery, has called for cooperation and patients from the public because the security services are in partnership with the general public in their quest to deliver quality service to the citizenry.
“….the public must be patient with Fire Service Officers rather than attacking personnel because of alleged delayed response to a fire, accident or purported wrong technique in fighting the fire or rescuing victims” he said.
He also underpinned the need for education of the public to better understand and appreciate the operations of the Ghana National Fire Service.
Mr. Dery made these statements at the graduation parade for 320 officer cadets of the Ghana National Fire Service held on 11th October, 2019 at the Fire Academy and Training School (FATS) in Accra.
The Minister, who was impressed by the smart turn out of the graduands, advised them to let the core values taught them by the Institution be the guiding principles of their career.
“Let me take this opportunity to congratulate the graduands on your smart turn out this morning and how far you have come through the rigorous training to be called Fire Officers. I will advise that as you walk out of the Training School today, keep in mind the core values taught you by this Institution and let them be your guiding principles of your career” said Mr. Dery.
He further admonished them to exhibit high sense of maturity and discipline even in their residential areas to serve as good role models for civilians in your communities.
Retooling of the service;
The Minister disclosed the Service will take delivery of command vehicles in due course for its Directors, Regional Fire Commanders and eventually Metropolitan, Municipal and District Fire Commanders. He said this was to boost the morale of Directors who have been using pickups for many years.
The Minister mentioned that capacity building would continue to be a key aspect of improving the service delivery of Ghana National Fire Service to the good people of Ghana.
He has therefore commended the Vice Chancellor of the University of Cape Coast (UCC), Prof Joseph Ghartey Ampiah for his commitment to the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between the Ghana National Fire Service and the University of Cape Coast, specifically the Forensic Science department to train officers in Forensic Fire Investigations and also for personally attending this graduation to witness the first batch of trainees complete their programme.
“I am proud to say that all the three hundred and twenty (320) officer cadets graduating today have been taken through the programme and were all successful, as a result they will be awarded certificates by the University.
…. There will be a further training of two hundred and fifty (250) officers selected from all the seventeen Administrative Regions of the Service in Basic Forensic Fire Investigations in a bid to build the capacity of our officers in fire investigations. This laudable intervention is with the support of the Skills Development Fund (SDF). I thank the fund for their support.” He said excitedly.
Touching on the welfare of fire officers, Mr. Ambrose Dery disclosed that, to mitigate the situation of fire fighters suffering from strange diseases as consequences of their work, particularly from continuous inhalation of poisonous fumes from fires, government was committed to providing Personal Protective Clothing for all fire fighters.
According to the Minister, Management of the Service would migrate Station Officers who have served the required years on their ranks to the Assistant Divisional Officer rank after they have been taken through all the necessary procedures. Also other officers who have duly improved themselves academically would also be considered for promotion to the senior rank.
All these, according to the Minister is to ensure that, the service and its personnel are better equipped and motivated to serve mother Ghana to the best of their ability.
He used the occasion to commend the service for its high sense of professionalism over the years in the area of Firefighting and Road Traffic Extrication.
“Your prompt response to major incidents all over the country has helped in saving lives and property. The current reduction in the spate of fires in the country I believe is the result of good fire safety education rolled out countrywide. There should be no room for complacency. I urge you to do more to further reduce the spate of fires to the barest minimum. I am also delighted that there has not been any major fires this year compared to last year.” He said.