By Cecil Mensah
The Chief Fire Officer (CFO) of the Ghana National Fire Service, Dr Albert Brown Gaizie, has revealed that gross indiscipline, negligence, lack of access routes, coupled with poor traffic management in most urban areas, are the bane of inadequate fire fighting in the country.
According to the Chief Fire Officer, these activities make it extremely difficult to fight the outbreak of fires in the country.
He said that it is only in Accra that people disregards the emergency sirens, hence the delay in fire officers getting to fire scenes late.
He said, the use of hearse sirens all over the city also contributes to the disregard of the emergency sirens, as well as the ambulance service.
Dr Gaizie, made this revelation at a press conference held in collaboration with the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO), and the National Ambulance Service on the need to ensure safety during the harmattan season.
He said, most of the fires that occur are as a result of carelessness and negligence on the part of the peoples, the laws are made to protect.
He mentioned that the Assembly’s bi-laws, have the mandate to ensure that all infrastructures are protected.
He said traffic, basic and simple fire safety management in the metropolis, has been thrown away as a results of the gross indiscipline everywhere.
He noted that when the fire safety managers mooted the idea for the Assembly to collaborate with the fire fighters during the outbreak of fires, it was duly considered by the Assembly.
He said, it is by so doing that agencies responsible for emergency responses, would be able to collaborate with the Assemblies to ensure safety.
He gave the assurance that the service would complement the efforts of other emergency response agencies to ensure safety.
He appealed to the general public to observe and show some respect to emergency response during the rush hours of the day.
He stressed that the service was determined to weed out some of the miscreants from the service, hence the dismissal of some officers who were found to have issued fire certificates to companies without them going through the appropriate channel.
On his part, the Metropolitan Chief Executive of (MCE) of AMA, Dr Alfred Oko Vanderpuije, pledged support for the service and outlined some measures to help fight fire in the metropolis.
Since the beginning of this year, sixty fire outbreaks, have been recorded and three lives lost as a result.
He said as chairman of the Metropolitan Security Committee (METSEC), a meeting was held on Wednesday January 21, 2015, at the Assembly and the following measures were reinforced in the fight against fires:
He said the Assembly in collaboration with Electricity Company of Ghana, would engage contractors to disconnect all illegal electrical connections within markets.
Those who reconnect, after the disconnection exercise, shall be prosecuted.
All allays and walkways, would be cleared of containers and trading activities in order to create easy access into the various traditional markets, he posited
He said, no person shall be allowed to sell animals in any markets, unless the place has been designated by AMA for that purpose.