Confab of GNFS Directors, Regional Commanders opens in Accra

The Minister of the Interior, Ambrose Dery yesterday presented 13 vehicles for the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) to facilitate its administrative mandate.

The automobiles include 11 command vehicles for directors and two 34-seater buses which would be distributed to some offices of the Service.

At the opening of the 13th Conference of GNFS Directors and Regional Commanders in Accra, he reiterated the government’s commitment to provide the infrastructural and logistical needs of the Service.

The three-day conference, on the theme, “Modernisation of the GNFS; the panacea for effective fire fighting and rescue” is a platform to deliberate on ways to enhance service delivery.

 According to Mr Dery, the transformation of the administrative regulations of the Service into a Legislative Instrument was ongoing and should be ready early next year to ensure better conditions of service for personnel.

He said refresher and capacity building courses arranged both in-house and at the international level as well as construction of a forensic laboratory were all avenues introduced to modernise service delivery.

To reduce the devastation caused by fire outbreaks and its socio-economic effects, he said the government was making arrangements to extend fire cover to all parts of the country including newly created districts.

In view of this, he charged the Service to increase fire safety education and improve fire fighting and rescue, saying “next year is an election year and we must work extra hard to contain any emergencies within our mandate.”

Additionally, he tasked the service to explore ways to enforce Legislative Instrument 2249, (L.I. 2016) which requires owners of residential facilities to acquire fire certificate for their households to enhance fire safety.

The Chief Fire Officer (CFO) Edwin Ekow Blankson, giving the state of affairs said the service responded to 5,176 incidents across the country from January to date.

Of the figure, he said 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.

In line with efforts to ensure fire safety, he said 11,051 fire certificates were issued from January to date, and 3,616 fire risk assessments were 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.

BY JONATHAN DONKOR

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