Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) has acquired 1,500 acres in seven regions of the country to establish fire colleges and training schools.
This is to ensure adequate manpower development for the service.
The land had been acquired in Kyebi in the Eastern Region, Mion in the Northern Region, Busa Mamwe, Upper West Region; Duayaw Nkwanta, Ahafo Region; Ejura, Ashanti Region and Tongo Bio in the Upper East Region.
The service also intends to sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with some universities for the training of fire personnel in the relevant fields from the undergraduate to the postgraduate programmes.
This was disclosed by the Chief Fire Officer (CFO), Julius A. Kuunuor, at a meeting between the Fire Service Council and the fire officers at the headquarters in Accra.
The council was led by the Chairman, Mr Kwame Anyimadu-Antwi, who also doubles as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Asante-Akim Central Constituency.
The purpose of the meeting was to introduce the newly constituted council to the service personnel and also to give them the opportunity to interact with them to have a fair knowledge of the challenges confronting the service.
Mr Kuunuor further commended the council for the great successes it has chalked up during the short period it assumed office.
Listing some of the achievements, he said, the council facilitated the asphalt overlay of the GNFS Headquarters and the Parade Square of the Fire Academy and Training School.
In addition, he said it had facilitated the completion of an ultra-modern forensic laboratory to enhance fire investigation and report writing.
Going forward, the CFO said, the service would give the necessary attention to the welfare of all personnel and civilian staff by putting in place measures to address key welfare issues such as occupational health and safety, general health care and counselling.
Currently, he said the service was making arrangements with a non-governmental organisation (NGO) to build clinics in all the regions.
Prior to that, he said management was collaborating with the Police Hospital under the Ministry of Interior to enable fire personnel in the Greater Accra Region to go for medical treatment.
Additionally, he said a mobile counselling clinic had been operationalised and various fire stations were being visited in the regions to provide counselling services to personnel with marriage or family challenges and also to prepare personnel for retirement.
Mr Kuunuor further expressed his gratitude to the government for its support to ensure a very vibrant fire service, indicating that the service was one of the essential agencies in the government’s retooling exercise.
“Arrangements are far advanced on the procurement of various appliances and equipment, command cars, utility vehicles, ambulances, hearse and dispatch motorcycles by the government for the service,” he said.
For his part, the council chairman also urged the servicemen to put in all their efforts and the service would recognise them one day.
“There may not be enough resources for you to work with but if you take it as if you are working for God, then you do it wholeheartedly and many will appreciate what you are doing,” he said.
He admitted that even though the service played a very critical role in ensuring safety in the country, however, only few appreciated such effort.
Mr Anyimadu-Antwi said the council would put in more efforts to bring more resources into the service to make firefighting easier and safer.
He further urged the personnel to desist from engaging in illegal activities which would compel the council to expel them.
“It is our prayer to make sure everyone has the morale to do what they are called to do. We don’t want a situation where we have to expel someone from the service,” he said.