The Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) has disclosed that processes are underway to procure equipment worth $61 million to augment the effort of the Service in fighting emergencies.
The Service has on several occasions come under public scrutiny for often failing to respond to emergencies on time due to logistical challenges.
Officials of the Service at a recent fire incident at the Accra Central Business District on Monday [July 5, 2021], told Citi News that the fire escalated also because the fire tender close to the market is unserviceable.
The Director of Budget of the National fire Service, Assistant Chief Fire Officer, Mark Brako, told Citi News the Finance Ministry is currently working on their request.
“We are to undertake a value for money audit for the package at the Ministry of Finance, and then it is also subject to parliamentary approval since it is an international transaction. The package is around $61 million including rapid intervention vehicles, turntable ladders, fire tenders, and some PPE.”
Meanwhile, the GNFS has said it will begin a rigorous exercise to educate Ghanaians on how to operate fire extinguishers to tackle fire outbreaks.
According to the GNFS, this will enable the citizenry to put out fires that might occur within their precincts even before firefighters get there, and will also prevent loss of lives and property.
The Public Relations Officer of GNFS, Ellis Robbinson Okoe, in an interview with Citi News said: “People are speculating on what might have caused the outbreak [at Makola], but I don’t want to rely on hearsay. So we will do the proper professional work, and we will know what actually caused the fire. I have also seen some fire extinguishers around, but after the investigations, we will know why they [traders] were not able to use them.”
“Probably, they don’t know how to operate it [extinguisher]. So we will go into that and see how best we can educate the people because if somebody knew how to operate them [extinguishers], the fire would have been doused at the initial stages before we even got here.”