Fire Academy graduates 511 recruits
Five hundred and eleven recruits of Course 49 graduated from the Fire Academy and Training School (FATS) in Accra yesterday.
Three months ago, 398 recruits of Course 48 of the academy also graduated, bringing the total number of recruits in the year to 909, the largest so far in the history of the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS).
That has brought about a slight improvement in the country’s fire officer to people ratio, which is now one fire officer to 3,589 people as against the United Nation’s (UN) standard of one fire officer to 800 people.
This means that Ghana has missed the UN standard by more than 300 per cent.
A passing-out ceremony held for the recruits on the premises of FATS yesterday was characterised by thrilling drills that attracted cheers and won the admiration of guests, especially families and friends of the recruits who attended the event.
Some recruits were rewarded for performing exceptionally in the areas of foot drills and academics, among others, during the four months of intensive practical and theoretical training in and out of the school.
Their areas of study included practical firemanship, hydraulics, electricity, pumps, chemistry and physics of combustion, rural fires and first aid.
Addressing the passing-out parade, the Minister of the Interior, Mr Ambrose Dery, expressed optimism that the ratio of a fire officer to people would further improve with the training of more recruits and cadets by the end of the year.
He emphasised the importance of fire safety to the survival of humanity, stressing that the fight against fire accidents was changing worldwide and Ghana could not afford to play to the gallery.
“The world is witnessing the use of more complex gadgets and equipment in all fields and aspects of human endeavour and our dear country Ghana is not left out of this technological evolution.
This, therefore, calls for new innovations in firefighting and prevention,” he said.
He noted that the GNFS was a vital partner in the nation’s development, especially in winning investors’ confidence in the economy by ensuring that the investors and their investments were protected.
Mr Dery, therefore, highlighted the challenges confronting the service and the need to support its personnel to enable them to perform better.
"It is in this light that the government is working hard to ensure that all formalities with regard to the purchase of two hydraulic platforms, which is a special equipment used by the Ghana National Fire Service to access high-rise buildings extending beyond 15 floors, are completed.
“These equipment will arrive in the country before the end of this year,” he said.
He added that the welfare of personnel was something that the government had prioritised and was, accordingly, working to transform the GNFS’s Conditions of Service into a new and improved Administrative Regulations passed by Parliament.
Mr Dery commended all personnel of the service for their creditable performance in the management of fires in the country and urged them to do even more.