A total of 537 recruit firemen and women yesterday passed out at the National Fire Academy and Training School (FATS) at James Town in Accra.
The recruits, who are persons with senior high, technical and vocational school qualifications, are made up of 285 males and 252 females.
The Recruit Course 52 C training commenced on November 23, 2020. It was undertaken in two parts. The first part lasted for six weeks with a six-month break when trainees proceeded on attachment at fire stations across the country.
The trainees later returned to the FATS to complete the second part (five weeks) of their 11-week training course on July 11, 2021.
Recruit Fire Man (RFM) Bismark Nyarko was adjudged the Overall Best Recruit while RFM Enoch Enu took the prize for the Best in Drills with Recruit Fire Woman (RFW) Albert Tetteh was the Best in Foot Drills with RFW Patience Merley Botchway taking the Commandant’s Award.
Speaking at the ceremony, a Deputy Minister for the Interior, Madam Naana Eyiah Quansah, urged the fire service to intensify fire safety education throughout the country in order to reverse the trend of fire outbreaks.
According to statistics available from the Records and Statistics Department of Ghana National Fire Service, she said a total of 3,301 fire outbreaks were recorded from January to June in 2021 as compared to 3,870 for the same period in 2020.
That, she said, pointed to a decrease of 569 in fire outbreaks representing 17.24 per cent over the period.
“However, ladies and gentlemen, the total damage caused by these fires in spite of the decreasing figures are worrying. This is symbolic of the fact that more commercial fires, which are especially more severe due to the nature of the explosive materials involved, are being recorded and the effects are well known to all of us.
“This is a clear call for all of us to begin to attach a little more seriousness to fire safety. Just as the fire outbreaks can be caused by human actions and inaction, they can also be prevented in the same way. I would also urge the Ghana National Fire Service to intensify fire safety education throughout the country in order to reverse this trend,” she said.
Madam Quansah, therefore, pledged the government’s constant support in that effort.
She applauded the gallant men and women for their endurance and discipline throughout their period of training and urged them to continue the works started by their predecessors in order to achieve set goals and targets.
“Again, allow me to applaud the following award winners on their outstanding achievements. I know how hard they have worked to make it happen and they deserve the success that comes with it,” she said.
The recent Makola fire, she said, was met with worrying public concerns and one of such concerns was the complete disregard for fire safety education and warning messages being given to members of the public by the fire service and the need for a more critical approach in ensuring fire safety.
Madam Quansah said fire prevention was the first on the agenda when it came to fire management and it was also a fact that about 96 per cent of all the fire outbreaks were preventable.