Ghana marks International Firefighters Day
Ghana last Thursday joined the international community to celebrate this year’s International Firefighters Day (IFD) in remembrance of firefighters who lost their lives in the line of duty.
The Day was established in 1999 to honour five firefighters who died in a wildfire in Victoria, Australia, and to acknowledge the service and sacrifice of firefighters around the world.
Marking the Day, a five symbolic coins were laid by the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) at its headquarters in Accra.
The Minister for the Interior, Mr Ambrose Dery laid a symbolic coin on behalf of the government in honour of the citizens who died in fire accidents.
The Chief Fire Officer (CFO) of the GNFS, Mr Julius Kuunour presented another on behalf of fire fighters who died in the line of duty.
Deputy Chief Fire Officer (DCFO) Mr Tony Gomez in charge of Operation of the GNFS, laid a coin to honour senior officers.
In honour of Junior Officers who perished, Group Officer Grade One, Faustina Ayereke laid a coin for them.
The Council Chairman of the Fire Service, Mr Anyimadu-Antwi Kwame also laid a coin in honour of departed CFOs and retired officers.
The Minister for the Interior, Mr Dery stressed the need to acknowledge the work of the personnel saying “We call you heroes because you have put your lives on the line for your fellow countrymen and the nation.”
Mr Kuunour on his part stated that the GNFS was committed to ensuring that enough personnel protective equipment and clothing were made available to the personnel to discharge their work effectively.
He said with the support of the Ministry of Interior, Government was in the process of procuring various fire appliances including dual purpose tenders, watertenders, rapid intervention vehicles and firefighting motorbikes capable of navigating through traffic access emergency scene in record time for the service this year.
As part of the occasion, the GNFS launched its 60th anniversary celebration.
DANIEL DZIRASAH reports from SUNYANI that the Acting Bono Regional Fire Commander, Divisional Officer Class One (DOI) Peter Tetteh said the region recorded a total of 116 fire cases in the first quarter of this year while compare to 102 cases in 2022.
According to him, bush fire continue to be the leading causes of fire outbreak in the region with 46 cases recorded in the same period as against 33 cases recorded last year.
The phenomenon, he attributed to the activities of herdsmen currently operating in the Bui enclave of the region.
LYDIA DARLINGTON FORDJOUR reports from WA that the Upper West Regional Fire Commander, Assistant Chief Fire Officer Grade One (ACFO I) Henry Asiedu admonished the public to avoid making unkind remarks about activities of the service.
He said firefighting in the region was sometimes affected by inadequate fire hydrants at vantage points from where personnel would draw more water after they had exhausted the water they sent to the fire scene.
KAFUI GATI reports from the Volta Regional capital Ho, that the Volta Regional Command of the GNFS in collaboration with National Communication Authority, Volta (NCA) marked the Day with a joint simulation exercise to sharpen their skills to be in readiness to fight undesirable fires.
The Volta Regional Commander of the GNFS, Assistant Chief Fire Officer One (ACFO1), Joy Ayim Ameyibor, who led the team noted that the NCA building was selected for the exercise since it was one of the tallest buildings in the municipality.
According to him, fighting fire at that height of the four- storey office block was more complex and needed individual expertise and skills.
CLEMENT ADZEI BOYE reports from Takoradi that the Western Regional Fire Commander, Assistant Chief Fire Officer One (ACFO1) Frederick Ohemeng at a workshop for journalists to mark the Day urged the public and the media in particular to recognise sacrifices of fire fighters even with the challenges in its routine operations.
“The workshop was carefully set out for the media to improve reportage, correct some misconceptions among the general public and also build good friendships,” he said.
BY ANITA NYARKO-YIRENKYI