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Regional News of Friday, 9 November 2012

Source: GNA

GNFS calls for effective collaboration in emergency preparedness

The Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) on Thursday called for an effective and efficient collaboration with its stakeholders to improve on its operational performance and its emergency preparedness.

“Emergency preparedness demands that all identified stakeholders work together in harmony to address national disasters,” Deputy Chief Fire Officer (DCFO) Mr Albert Brown Gaisie stated in Accra.

Mr Gaisie, who is also GNFS Director of Operations, made the call at a day’s stakeholders’ meeting to discuss how to collectively facilitate the achievements of responding to disasters efficiently.

He identified unavailability of water flow in most hydrants, difficulty in getting ECG to quickly cut-off power at affected areas and the difficulty in controlling crowd that normally besiege disaster vicinity as challenges GNFS encounters during emergency cases.

He also noted that the sealing of water hydrants makes operation of fire fighters extremely difficult, especially in case of fire outbreak. “It is even sad to hear that the water hydrants on GNFS compound and in our vicinity are most of the time not working.

“I will appeal to you to make sure that at least the hydrants on our compound and that of the Police Hospital have constant flow of water”.

He appealed to stakeholders to make available their hotlines for easy communication and suggested the re-use of radio phones, which used to be means of communication transmission among the security services, saying “It was an effective communication medium”.

DCFO Gaisie called for the need for stakeholders to have a response plan to serve as a guide and prompt them in responding quickly to disaster calls.

He urged the Ghana National Road Safety Commission (GNRSC) to mount toll free telephone booths along the highways and motor ways and educate the general public on its use during accidents and emergencies.

Mr Paul Akpanya, Accra East District Head of the Ghana Water Company reacting to the unavailability of water in most hydrants, admitted that the demands of water outweighed the supply and promised that his outfit would work around the clock to fix the problem.

The stakeholders pledged to play their role efficiently and effectively to ensure that response emergencies were prompt.

The meeting was attended by representatives from Ghana Water Company, Ghana News Agency, GNRSC, Town and Country Planning, Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), and Information Services Department.

The National Disaster Management Organization and the Ghana Police Service were also invited but could not make it.

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