Mahamudu Bawumia, the Vice President of Ghana, has disclosed that Ghana has lost more than GH¢64 million to 6,796 fire outbreaks in 2022, resulting in 50 deaths and 241 injuries.
The Vice President explained that the fire outbreaks have dealt a big blow to many people and organizations, with the government losing property and other valuables.
The Vice President, thus, described the situation as unacceptable and called for collective efforts by all Ghanaians by way of adhering to fire safety precautions to stop the phenomenon.
The repercussions of those losses, Dr Bawumia said, have been dire, with some people still grappling with difficulties that came with it. In spite of this, the Vice President said there is still hope at the end of the tunnel.
“I am reliably informed of how fire outbreak figures continue to dwindle across the country. This is welcoming news to all of us but most importantly, an indication that fires are indeed preventable if we all decide to and work towards preventing them.”Mahamudu Bawumia
Dr Bawumia thus, commended the Sector Minister, Ambrose Dery, the Fire Service Council led by Kwame Anyimadu Antwi, the Chief Fire Officer, Julius Kuunuor, Management and Officers of the Fire Service for their resilient efforts over the years.
Dr Bawumia stated that the fight for fire safety, requires continuous attention and concerted efforts to consolidate the gains made so far in order to improve upon its achievements. “This would require the collective efforts of all and sundry by way of adherence to fire safety messages and practices to avoid the occurrence of what we all so much fear,” he said.
Dr Bawumia urged the Fire Officers to continue their good work of educating the public and finding a more innovative and creative means to spread fire safety news. He noted that the government is aware of the enormity of the responsibility placed on their shoulders and believes that it requires a considerable amount of resources to execute the huge obligation.
Government’s Commitment to Resourcing the Fire Service
The Veep asserted the government’s commitment to resourcing the Fire Service with all the necessary tools and equipment. “This is very much evident in the number of projects that have sprung up at the Fire Academy and Training School in the spate of one year,” he said.
Meanwhile, this expansion has enabled the Fire Academy and Training School to accommodate and train recruits three times more than its previous capacity.
The Vice President noted that the trainees have been offered a more comfortable life during the duration of the course while training and issues of overcrowding and lack of basic amenities have been resolved.
“The current status quo will soon see even more improvement as two additional Fire Academy and Training Schools and a Fire College are under construction at Duayaw Nkwanta, Wungu and Kyebi respectively.
“The first phase of all those three projects are scheduled for completion by the end of this month. It is in this direction that the Government gave the opportunity to the Service to recruit 2,000 new entrants into the Service to improve its human resource capacity.”
The government, he said, has also provided the Service with two hydraulic platforms capable of reaching the sixteenth floor of a building to assist the Service in dealing with fire and rescue situations on high rise buildings.
The government, he said, Is fully aware of the expectations of the Service to receive new appliances to augment its current stock of equipment for operational and administrative efficiency.
Dr Bawumia therefore gave the assurance of the government’s resolve to provide the necessary logistics for the Service to help deliver on its mandate. He entreated them not to rest on their oars but strive even higher and harder to shine more as firefighters.
“It is a great thing to serve one’s country, especially in the capacity and manner you have chosen, even as you know how much personal sacrifices you have to make to serve.”Dr Bawumia
The Vice President encouraged them to give of their best and endeavour to make a difference in society. He charged them to uphold the positive tenets of the noble profession and be good ambassadors of the Service.
“I expect you to further advance the achievements of the Ghana National Fire Service in your own little way and I wish you well in all your future undertakings,” Dr Bawumia added.