The Minister for the Interior, Mr Ambrose Dery, has reiterated the government’s commitment to ensure the critical examination of the types of equipment and logistics that are needed to fight fire in the country.
In a speech read on his behalf at the graduation ceremony of Cadet Intake XIV of the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) in Accra Friday, Mr Dery indicated that the government would ensure that whatever was provided to the service was useful for firefighting.
Mr Dery commended the service for adopting a proactive approach to conduct intensive fire education and safety audits in government and private institutions to deal with perennial fires that destroyed properties running into millions of cedis.
The minister, however, noted that fire safety education alone was not enough to safeguard life and property if the attitude of the public towards fire safety and prevention remained the same.
He stressed that the public must be sensitised to their responsibility to appreciate and complement the efforts of the service in ensuring the protection of life and property in the country.
Mr Dery challenged the management of the GNFS to take advantage of technological advancement to encourage and promote regular in-service courses to boost the capacities of serving officers.
According to him, regular research and refresher courses were key to the transformation of every institution.
He stated that the government would support the construction of a Fire Academy and Training School at Duayaw Nkwanta in the Brong Ahafo Region.
The school, Mr Dery added, would ensure quality training and learning for cadets, recruits and serving officers of the service.
Some of the graduating officers were awarded for distinguished performance.
They were Officer Cadets Celestine Senanu Gamor, Priscilla Ampong Mensah, Ahmed Addy Lamptey and Emmanuel Akyeampong Simpson, who emerged as the Overall Best Student.
An estimated GH¢97 million was lost to fire outbreaks in 2016, an increase of about 242 per cent over the 2015 figure of GH¢28 million.
A total of 6,825 fire incidents were recorded the same year, an increase of 5.1 per cent over 6,214 cases recorded during the same period in 2015.