The governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) led by Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has been urged to urgently retool Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) to enable the service deliver to expectation in the wake of rampant fire outbreaks in the country.
According to Hon.Patrick Kwame Frimpong,the former NPP 2nd Vice chairman for Manhyia south and 1st vice chairman for Manhyia north, the need for the government to retool the Ghana National Fire Service cannot be overemphasized.
Hon.Frimpong who doubles as Assembly member for Krofrom East electoral area within Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly lamented that since 2011, when the late Prof Mills administration presented fire tenders to the service, the successive governments have failed to equip GNFS. Adding that, the country was sitting on a time-bomb because the country’s fire response does not meet global or modern standards.
Hon.Frimpong who is also the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Safe Journey Foundation, a non-governmental organization specialized in the road safety admitted that, his government led by Nana Addo has done well in retooling other Security services and National Ambulance Service and it was therefore equally important for the government to quickly tends it attention to retool GNFS.
According to him, most of the existing fire tenders are old and others are also not functioning well.He said unfortunately, most of the Metropolitan, Municipal and Districts across the country as well as most of the newly created regions have no fight tenders to response to emergency.”How can we expect GNFS to deliver to our expectation and meet global standards when for the past Ten (10) years no fire tenders have been secure to replace the old ones.
Both former President Mahama and Nana Addo’s administration have not resource the service like they have done to other security services. Whiles commending Nana Addo led administration for securing one ambulance per 275 constituencies and additional ones for emergency for health responses. The NPP government is expected to retool GNFS with fire tenders and necessary quipment for efficiency delivery of their constitutional mandate.
Hon.Patrick Kwame Frimpong disclosed that, the fire tender at Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly has broken down. Sadly, Mankraso,the district capital of Ahafo Ano south in the Ashanti region which is one of the accident prone areas has no fire tender.Aside Ahafo Ano south district,Atwima Nwabiagya north,Tafo Municipal,Kwadaso Municipal,Oforikrom Municipal, Atwima Kwanwoma district among others have no fire tenders. Other districts which could boast of one, has either become old or cannot function well
Hon.Patrick Kwame Frimpong
.Adding that in the Ahafo region, there is no fire tender at Asuntifi north(Kenyasi),Asunafo south(Kukuom).He revealed that most of the newly created regions are also without fire tenders.
As a backgrounder!
The Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) is one of the Agencies under the Ministry of the Interior. The Service was re-established by an Act of Parliament in 1997, Ghana National Fire Service Act, 1997, Act 537. The objective of the Service is to prevent and manage undesired fire.
Under the strategic objectives of the mother ministry, The Ghana National Fire Service is required to provide adequate protection of life and property and sensitize and provide technical assistance and advice to schools, markets, MMDAs, lorry parks and other institutions nationwide on fire safety measures. The major programme and project assigned to the Service is Fire Management, Rescue and Extrication services.
The GNFS is required to perform the following functions to achieve her objectives:
- Organize public education programmes to create and sustain awareness of hazards of fire; and heighten the role of the individual in the prevention of fire;
- Provide technical advice for building plans in respect of machinery and structural layouts to facilitate escape from fire rescue operations and fire management;
- Inspect and offer technical advice on fire extinguishers
- Co-ordinate and advise on the training of personnel in firefighting departments of Institutions in the Country;
- Train and organize fire volunteer squads at community level;
- Offer rescue and evacuation services to those trapped by fire or in other emergency situations; and
- Undertake any other function incidental to the objective of the service.
The Ghana National Fire Service is committed to ensuring safer communities throughout Ghana by containment of fire and reduction of fire-related accidents and deaths.
The mission of GNFS is to provide an efficient and valued Fire and Rescue Services, as well as meeting the Statutory requirements so as to maintain and improve on public safety from fires and related emergencies thereby protecting the people, the environment and the economy through a motivated workforce and adequate resources.Story by a news desk report
Flashback! Mills inaugurates 54 fire tenders for Ghana National Fire Service
President John Evans Atta Mills on Monday inaugurated 54 fire tenders and equipment for the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) in Accra.
He expressed concern about the rampant fire outbreaks that had gutted properties in recent times, and urged the Service to study especially those that had affected markets and provide solutions.
Out of a consignment of 127, the fire tenders form part a procurement arrangement by the Government and Project Development International of the United States of America (USA) under a loan faculty of 49 million dollars granted by the US Exim Bank.
President Mills said procurement of the equipment was evidence of the importance government attached to the protection of life and property.
“We are interested in providing the wherewithal for the Fire Service. We are happy to have taken the equipments, but there should not be any fire outbreak,” the President said.
President Mills said the incidence of fires in the markets had caused devastation to many people, who had to start life all over, and expressed the hope that with the arrival of the equipments, the fire service personnel would be in a position to perform their duties to the satisfaction of all and sundry.
He called for a fair distribution of the tenders in the regions as well as their proper maintenance.
The President also assured the personnel that government would provide them with the needed logistics to enable them operate efficiently and effectively.
Dr Benjamin Kunbuor, Minister of the Interior, said the package included 10 water tenders, four arrival turn-table ladders and 1,000 pieces of protective clothing.
He announced that by the end of 2012, 26 dual purpose fire tenders and four water tankers, together with an additional turn-table ladder would be procured from Belgium, with a Belgian mixed facility while an Indian Exim Bank package would provide 75 fire tenders, five water tenders with various spare parts.
On human resource development, Dr Kunbuor said 100 officer cadets and 300 recruits of the Service were at present being trained to augment the strength of the service.
There is also a planned overseas training for operational officers and mechanics in the US next July.Mr Donald Tetelbaum, US Ambassador to Ghana, said the two nations would have a mutually beneficial collaboration in fire fighting.
Alhaji Amadu Sorogho, Chairman of Fire Service Council, expressed appreciation to the Government for the swift response to the needs of the Service.