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General News of Monday, 24 April 2017


Support fire service in firefighting – Akwada

The Executive Director of the Bureau of Public Safety, Nana Yaw Akwada, has urged the general public to apply their basic knowledge in fire prevention in dealing with fire outbreaks even before they call personnel of the Ghana National Fire Service to intervene.

According to him, there are two fundamental things every Ghanaian will need to do when there is a fire outbreak. These two things, he said, include using essential tools available in neutralising the fire and also calling on the Fire Service to intervene.

Speaking in an interview with Chief Jerry Forson, host of Ghana Yensom on Accra100.5FM, on Monday April 24 in connection with the inferno that gutted the Coconut Grove Regency Hotel in Accra on Saturday April 22, Mr Akwada said: “There are two primary things that everybody will need to apply whenever there is fire outbreak.

The first is, we must immediately try and deploy the tools we have around us to contain or neutralise the fire. In the process of doing that we have to reach out to personnel of the Ghana National Fire Service to intervene.”

Meanwhile, a former Deputy Minister for the Interior, James Agalga, has said the Ghana National Fire Service will need to be resourced to enable it fight fires more effectively.

According to him, although the John Mahama administration provided several fire tenders as a way of resourcing the service, the current government will have to ensure that those tenders are maintained and additional ones provided.

His comments come after the inferno that gutted the Coconut Grove Regency Hotel in Accra on Saturday April 22.

The hotel, owned by businessman and politician Dr Papa Kwesi Nduom, caught fire and destroyed several items. No one was hurt in the inferno.

Speaking in an interview with Chief Jerry Forson, host of Ghana Yensom on Accra 100.5FM on Monday April 24, Mr Agalga said: “We have to come to terms with the fact that the security agencies of our country need to be resourced to be able to carry out their mandates effectively.

In times past, the NDC administration under President Mahama did a lot to retool and reequip the security agencies including the Ghana National Fire Service, and so by the time President Mahama left the scene, Fire Service had received a lot of fire engines numbering over 80 and that made it possible for Fire Service to even open new branches across the country.

“So we must concede that firemen and women are very professional – you can’t take that away from them – but we need to do more in terms of resourcing them to be able to deal with fires effectively.

“What happened at Groupe Nduom – my sympathy to Dr Nduom – but you will realise that where those facilities are located is within a security zone: the headquarters of the Ghana Immigration Service is around that same area, the office of the Bureau of National Investigation (BNI) is also around that same area.

And so looking at the strategy the Fire Service adopted when they arrived at the scene, they had to position themselves in order to be able to protect those security installations as well as fight the fires that were ravaging the offices of Groupe Nduom.

“So let us not be hasty in arriving at conclusions. I’d rather wish we waited patiently for the Fire Service to come out with a report regarding the possible cause of the fire and measures they put in place to help contain the situation.”