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Don’t remove victims from accident vehicles forcefully — Fire Service

Author: Dominic Moses Awiah
Rescue team from Fire Service undergoing the process of removing victims of road crashes from a  vehicle
Rescue team from Fire Service undergoing the process of removing victims of road crashes from a vehicle

The Rescue Department of the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) has expressed concern about how victims of motor crashes are forcefully removed from accident vehicles without any caution.

According to the National Coordinator in charge of the Rescue Department of the GNFS, Mr John Kwame Mensah, although the intention of the public “is to help save the lives of victims of road crashes, they end up doing worse because of the manner in which they remove them from the vehicle”.

He said the rescue team had discovered that many road accident victims, especially those who die, could have lived had it not been the manner in which they were removed from the vehicles.

“Some of them incur permanent damages because of the way people carry them out of the car,” Mr Mensah said at the opening ceremony of a week-long training workshop for rescue teams of the GNFS.

The programme, organised by the Weija Division of the GNFS, was aimed at equipping rescue personnel with skills on how to save the lives of road accident victims.

Statistics

Ghana records about 2,000 fatalities in road accidents annually, as six lives are lost daily through those accidents.

Mr Mensah advised the public not to rush to remove victims of road crashes but wait for the rescue team, adding that: “There is a proper way of removing accident victims from vehicles. You must be properly trained on how you remove them because the slightest twist could lead to a permanent damage.”

Touching on the essence of the training, he said over the past years, efforts had been made by the division to train personnel of the GNFS to enable them to carry out their mandate effectively.

Apart from sensitising companies and people to adhere to basic fire safety rules, Mr Mensah pointed out that :“We also put in much effort to upgrade the training of our personnel so that they will function effectively.

Fire outbreaks

The Weija Municipal Fire Officer, Mr Isaac Saah, said fire incidents at Weija and its surrounding areas had reduced drastically.

“Last year, we recorded over 120 fire outbreaks in the first six months but this year we have recorded 86,” he noted.

Asked about the challenges the Weija Fire Service was facing, he indicated the division needed fire hydrants because the old ones were damaged.

Mr Saah also stressed the need for the road network to be improved to enable fire personnel to easily reach communities within the Weija area during fire incidents.