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23.10.2003 General News

Fire Service is always battle ready - Atenga

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Accra, Oct. 23, GNA - Mr Emmanuel Atenga, Acting National Chief Fire Officer, on Thursday said it was not true that sometimes Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) personnel went to fire scenes with empty tenders. He said the fire engines that they have were so powerful that they could dispense 4,546 litres (1,000 gallons) of water within three to four minutes, which most ordinary people were not aware of and might think they did not send any water.

Mr Atenga said this during a familiarization tour of the Ghana News Agency as part of his visit to various media houses in Accra to appraise fire fighting needs and security at workplaces.

The visit was also to enhance the image of the Service, discuss matters of mutual co-operation between the two institutions and assess the fire readiness of the GNA.

He said sometimes people mistook GNFS mobile vans, utility vehicles and ambulances for fire tenders and cited an instance where some people went to a fire station to report of an outbreak and when they were told that help had to be sought from another station they became angry and accused the personnel of showing lackadaisical attitude to work. He said Legislative Instrument (L.I.) 1724 mandates the GNFS to inspect all public places to ensure that fire warning devices and fire fighting equipment were provided and evacuation procedures are provided at such places.

He said the GNFS attached importance to LI 1724 and called on the media to educate the public on it.

He also urged the public to contact the GNFS in addition to the Police when accidents occurred since they were equipped to cut and remove victims when they were trapped in vehicles.

Mr Atenga also called for the involvement of Fire Officers in the planning of markets and other public places to ensure that all fire precautionary measures were put in place.

Nana Appau Duah, Supervising Chief Editor of GNA, thanked the delegation for coming and said the GNA and GNFS would continue to work for the mutual benefit of the two organizations.

He said the public most of the time took the Fire Service for granted until there was fire outbreak.

He said the GNA would assist the GNFS in its educational campaigns. The tour has already taken the Fire Service to Graphic Communication Group Ltd and New Times Corporation.

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