The Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) in the Upper West Region has stepped up campaigns against accidental fires in the region.
The service believes that the combination of increased education and activities of fire volunteers in the various districts has led to the drastic reduction in fire incidents in the region for the first four months of the year.
The service recorded a total of 97 accidental fires within the period as against 132 recorded for the same period (January to April) last year.
Bush fires incidents which are one of the worrying trends in the region also decreased from 26, last year to 20 this year.
In an interview with the Ghanaian Times at Wa on Friday, the Regional Commander of the GNFS, Assistant Chief Fire Officer (ACFO), Abraham Nii Dodoo, attributed the success to the intensification of rural fire education in the various communities.
He explained that with the help of the fire volunteers, the service had been able to reach a number of farmers and community members with fire safety education on making fire belts around their farms, as well as measures to adhere to in order to prevent bush fire.
“We have commissioned over 300 fire volunteers in the Daffiama-Bussie-Issa and Wa West districts as well as the Nandom Municipality to compliment efforts of other volunteers in existence in other parts of the region,” he said.
He explained that the fire volunteers were assisted by non-governmental organisations (NGOs) with logistics, whereas the GNFS gave them skills training to assist them in the discharge of their duties in the communities to help prevent accidental fires.
“We have also trained the security and warders at the market to ensure that they help in the fire prevention and control; so what they do is that they ensure that all bulbs were turned off and inflammables were quenched before people closed and they also patrol the market to ensure there was no suspicious fire or smoke around,” he said.
He indicated that the GNFS was working with security officers at the various institutions to ensure fire safety as many of them stayed behind after work hours, and said they were the best people to check if all electrical gadgets had been turned off and if there was any looming danger.
He was, however, worried about the incidents of domestic fire and said even though education had been done in that regard; people were still not paying heed to fire safety at home, and called on residents to ensure they prevented accidental fires at home.
The commander called for more logistics for the service to enable it widen its sensitisation and education programme across the region in order to reach more people with the fire safety education to sustain the gain.
FROM LYDIA DARLINGTON FORDJOUR, WA
Source: Ghanaian Times