The Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) says it has made adequate provisions to ensure fire safety during the upcoming Ghana CAN 2008 soccer fiesta. The arrangements include a special rescue team to monitor and offer rescue and evacuation services in case of emergency as well as a road traffic accident team that is currently undergoing retraining.
Nana Ekow Abban, Western Regional Commander of the Service said these in Takoradi yesterday when he briefed the media on the state of preparedness of the GNFS with regards to the CAN 2008 sporting event.
The almost completed 20,000 sitting capacity stadium at Essipong near Takoradi would play host to Nigeria, Mali, Cote d'Ivoire and Benin in Group B that has been termed as the 'Group of Death.'
Nana Abban said communication network of the Service has been upgraded whilst the various operations men are undergoing vigorous training in their determination to enforce to the letter regulations of the laws of the Service.
'As we are about to roll into the yuletide festivity coupled with Ghana CAN 2008, the Regional Command is leaving no stone unturned to ensure that Legislative Instrument 1724 is vigorously enforced to maintain safety and fire-free occasions.'
Series of educational programmes had been organised for Service providers including those in the hospitality industry to provide adequate fire protection and general safety for the expected clients, Nana Abban said. He stressed the need for hoteliers to acquire fire safety gadgets to ensure the safety of the teams and visitors.
The Regional Commander disclosed that the match venue at Essipong has been presented with its fire certificate to ensure total compliance of the law.
Nana Abban expressed concern about the proliferation of fire equipment that does not meet the required standards and advised institutions and organisations to contact the GNFS for advice before they acquire such equipment.
In a related development, members of the Sekondi-Takoradi Venue Organising Committee on Saturday visited the training pitches to assess the level of preparedness for the tournament.
The team led by Nana Kobina Nketsia V, Omanhene of Essikado who is also Chairman of the Committee toured the Railway Park, Gyandu Park, the Fijai Secondary School Park and the Essipong Stadium Complex. Nana Nketsia appealed to the media to support the organisers to ensure a successful tournament.