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21.06.2005 Regional News

GNFS/KNUST to run programme in Fire Engineering


Koforidua, June 21, GNA - The Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) is collaborating with the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) to run a programme in Fire Engineering by next year.

The Chief Fire Officer, Mr Emmanuel Adugbire Atenga announced this, when he addressed the personnel of the Service during a one-day official visit to the GNFS in the Eastern Region on Tuesday. He said currently, two committees jointly set up by the University and the GNFS, were working towards the speedy establishment of the faculty to be known as Faculty of Fire Engineering.

Mr Atenga said the Service was seeking help from the United Kingdom, through the Ministry of Interior, to fund some aspects of the faculty as part of the Service's contribution towards the realization of the programme.

Commenting on the current trend of door-to-door delivery of gas by providers, the Chief Fire Officer expressed his worry about the use of second- hand vehicles for the purpose, which he described as dangerous. He said there was the need for policy makers to take a critical look at the vehicles being used to convey the gas, before commissioning them, adding that, those drivers and their counterparts, who drive petrol tankers needed to be properly trained and given special licence before they could operate.

Mr Atenga expressed concern at the way some people who thought the GNFS could not respond quickly to their emergency calls and out of frustration vandalise the Service's stations and equipment and described the tendency as "not the best," since it took the Service a long time and a lot of money to procure those facilities. He said it behoved on the communities to report any fire outbreak to the personnel on time before making any efforts at putting out the fire but not when the try and were not successful before they call the personnel.

The Assistant Chief Fire Officer in-charge of the Eastern Region, Mr Solomon Mensah, said the Eastern Region recorded 111 fire outbreaks between January and May this year, with an estimated cost of 395 million cedis. He said though there were 17 fire tenders in the region, only 11 were in commission, which had led to some districts being without fire tenders.

Mr Mensah said the Afram Plains, which was considered as a deprived area, was now opened up and appealed for a fire tender for them when the Service receives new tenders. He said to reach out for more districts in fire fighting and prevention, Mpraeso in the Kwawu South District, would soon have a fire station and that community education there was on course to create awareness among the people.