An induction church service was held in Accra yesterday for the Chief Fire Officer, Mr Edwin Ekow Blankson, who was appointed by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to the position in January this year.
Mr Blankson had been working in acting position since September, 2017, until his appointment.
The ceremony began with the Minister of the Interior, Mr Ambrose Dery, symbolically presenting CFO Blankson to the Chaplain of the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) for the rites of induction, during which the minister called on the Almighty God to help guide the decisions and actions of the CFO for the corporate good of the service and the country as a whole.
Symbols of office
The Chaplain of the GNFS, Reverend DOIII I. K. Erzoah Amihere, led CFO Blankson to take the oath of office, after which Rev. Amihere presented four symbols of office to the CFO.
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The first one was the ‘Ring of Office,’ which symbolises the seal of authority and unbroken loyalty, while the second, was a Bible, symbolising the source of true wisdom and knowledge to guide the new CFO in decision taking.
The third was a ‘fireman axe’ which symbolises authority of access to all premises to rescue and save lives in case of a fire outbreak.
The fourth, a ‘ceiling hook,’ symbolised the CFO’s ability, as well as that of the men and women of the GNFS to discover all pockets of hidden fires and quench them.
After the rites were performed, Rev. DOIII Amihere and other dignitaries officially welcomed CFO Blankson to office.
Officiating clergies from the various security services were on hand to pray for the CFO for God’s guidance during his tenure.
Preaching the sermon, Rev. DOIII Amihere said the CFO was taking office at a time the acquisition of worldly knowledge was preferred to the acquisition of the knowledge of God that made an individual service-oriented.
He said the result was that there were now a lot of people who could speak in a spectacular manner but were poor in innovation and action.
Rev. DOIII Amihere, therefore, called on CFO Blankson to celebrate and reward initiative and hard work, saying when initiative and hard work go unrecognised, sycophancy and bootlicking became concretised.
He admonished the other personnel of the service to “put to death all counterproductive tendencies”. Let us remember that those who wash their dirty clothes in public are always not respected by the public, but are rather ridiculed.“
To the entire country, Rev. DOIII Amihere said the good Lord was calling on all to eschew all forms of greed and selfishness that made people to build on water hydrants.
He cautioned that the realisation of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) would be an unrealistic dream if “our attitude towards undesired fires and the Fire Service does not change”.
Call to duty
For his part, the CFO pledged to work harder to help make the GNFS a world-class fire and rescue service, capable of providing efficient emergency response and fire protection services.
He said the service had developed a five-year strategic plan which would be launched soon, to help guide it to attain its vision of modernising the GNFS into a world-class service.
At the end of the ceremony, intercessory prayers were said for the nation by Reverend Superintendent Michael Baakwaw, the Chaplain General of the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS).
Prayers were also said for the GNFS by the Chaplain of the Ghana Prisons Service (GPS), Rev. Chief Superintendent of Prisons Adama Okai, and for the security services, the Chaplain of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) Customs Division, Rev. Ray Lartey, said the prayers.
Chief Fire Officer Edwin Ebow Blankson was born in Cape Coast on September 29, 1962.
He was enlisted in the GNFS on December 1, 1989 as Assistant Divisional Officer Grade One (ADO1)