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Fire service CG calls on citizens to be volunteer firefighters

Kaduna State (Zaria), June 15, 2021 (NAN) Federal Fire Service Controller General (CG) Liman Ibrahim has implored Nigerians to act as volunteer firefighters to curb fire menace in the country.

Ibrahim said this during the commissioning of one modern firefighting truck and two ambulances in Zaria, Kaduna State.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the deployed fire truck and ambulances were among the recently acquired 20 life support ambulances and seven fire fighting trucks by the Federal Fire Service.

He said that if citizens on ground at fire scenes attended to fire before the arrival of fire firefighters, the excesses of fire menace will be curtailed.

“Nigerians should be auxiliary firefighters like in developed countries as that will help reduce the impact on us and reduce the number of fire outbreak,” he said.

“In developed countries in a situation where you have 50 firefighters, only 20 are on government payroll while the remaining 30 are volunteers.

“Before the arrival of firefighters they are already doing something so the fire will jot spread but curtail it to its origin and control it.

“What is important in firefighting is control but many people don’t understand when we are controlling fire.

“When property C is on fire we need to protect property B and D so we lay emphasis more on the property that are not on fire.

“Because what is on fire is already on fire so we are telling citizens to be auxiliary firefighters,” he said.

The FFS boss stated that the service in collaboration with state fire service was to mitigate and engage citizens, villagers and traders on how to minimise fire outbreaks and encourage prompt response to outbreaks.

“Fire fighting is everybody’s responsibility so the need for robust collaboration between the centre and states need not to be overemphasized,” he said.

He called on the state government to provide allocation of utility vehicles, recruitment of young firefighters and approval of paramilitary salary structure to the state fire service.

Gov. Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State said that the asset deployed would boost the capacity of the state fire service to respond to fire disasters.

Represented by Mr Abubakar Alhassan, the Executive Secretary of Kaduna State Emergency Management Agency, said that there was need for rigorous sensitisation campaign in the state.

The Emir of Zazzau, Alhaji Ahmed Bamalli said that at the local council level, sensitisation was ongoing on how to prevent and curtail fire if it occurs.

"This commissioning is the first of its kind in this part of the country and we ensure everyone that we will do our possible best to ensure this machines are well kept.

“We appeal to the fire service that going forward in your next budget that you include the acquisition of utility vehicles to be your next budget.

“We also appeal to the representative of the government to inform the Governor of all said here and we believe he will take action where needed,” he said.

Minister of Finance, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, represented by the Permanent Secretary, Mr Shehu Shinkafi said that the ministry would continue to support fire service financially because of it’s essential services.

He appealed to the emir to advise people at the grassroots to take the gesture seriously because it took a lot of investment and funding to acquire.

“Guide this asset jealously because while fighting fire we see people vandalising these equipment, so please always provide security cover for those fighting fire.

“Out of frustration at times the public might not understand and might be called when the fire has gone beyond recovery and any damage to this truck requires a lot of money to repair,” he said.

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