The Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) has appealed to government to equip fire stations in the districts to enhance their performance.
It said it was important to complement government’s One District One Factory agenda with well-equipped district fire stations.
Edwin Ekow Blankson, the Chief Fire Officer of the GNFS, who made the call, said industrial development was usually accompanied by fire and other hazards, therefore the Fire Service presence in every district was paramount to their operations.
Mr Blankson said this at an induction and church service ceremony in Accra to officially swear him into office as the Chief Fire Officer (CFO) of the GNFS.
He said since he took office, they had opened eight fire stations and asked for more government support to ensure that the remaining 55 districts they operated in also get their own fire stations.
The event, which was on the theme “Called to Serve” presented to the CFO four symbols of authority.
The symbols included a ring which symbolises authority and unbroken loyalty, a Ceiling Hook, a Bible which is a source of truth and wisdom, and a fireman axe which authorises him to access any premises to effect a rescue.
Mr Blankson expressed gratitude to the President for the honour and assured him that he was never going to disappoint him.
He also appreciated the Minister for the Interior and his deputy for their support to the service.
He said management had put together a five-year strategic plan to guide the service to attain their vision to modernise the GNFS into a world class fire and rescue service capable of providing efficient emergency response and fire protection to Ghanaians.
The CFO stated that in pursuance of these goals, the Service’s human resource capacity would be strengthened.
It will also acquire modern equipment, enhance the welfare of personnel, improve professionalism, and ensure effective occupational health and safety emergency response.
He said plans are far advanced for cadet officers to undergo a course in public safety, which would lead to the award of an advanced professional certificate in public safety from the University of Energy and Natural Resources.
Mr Blankson said with support from the Maltese Ambassador to Ghana, 40 officers would undertake a course in Malta in May 2019 to enhance their capacity.
He said management of the GNFS would continue to build the capacity of personnel both locally and internationally to properly position the service to confront modern challenges associated with firefighting.
“In addition to the external training opportunities, there is also the urgent need for the service to improve on its capacity to conduct quality in-service career development programmes for all servicemen in line with global standards.
We are therefore working towards finding a suitable private partner to assist us build a modern Fire Service College to serve Ghana and the entire sub-region,” he stated.
As the GNFS continues to upgrade its facilities at the Fire Academy and Training School, we have received approval from government to procure two hydraulic platforms in the history of the service.
Welfare of all officers would see a dramatic change in the coming years as management push for the passage of the GNFS Administration Regulations in a Legislative Instrument, Mr Blankson said.
The CFO called on officers to remain committed to the mandate of the service and put their shoulders to the wheel to make GNFS a symbol of hope to distressed Ghanaians caught up in emergency situations.
Rev. DOIII I.K Erzoah Amihere, the GNFS Chaplain, in a sermon congratulated the CFO and urged all officers to support him.
He charged the officers to embrace selflessness and commitment to serve and move the GNFS forward.