…as 160 fire outbreaks took place in Enugu
MAURICE OKAFOR writes that in the present time, the Enugu state fire service, the agency of the state government entrusted with the responsibility to fight and curtail fire outbreaks in the state, is getting a fair deal from the state government in terms of facilities and skilled manpower to improve on it’s services.
The State chief Fire Officer, Engr Daniel Okwudiri Ohaa, testifies that more than ever before, the agency is garnering the desired support from the present administration in Enugu state under the leadership of Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi for effective service delivery in all nooks and cranny of the state, more than before.
Engr Ohaa disclosed that about 160 cases of fire incidences reported from various parts of the state within this season were caused by Bush burning ,out of which about 30 facilitated by the harmattan winds, crept into about thirty houses and establishments. Thus the reason why the agency embarked on public enlightenment and sensitization, using Radio announcements and jingles to educate the people.
Engr Ohaa who spoke to news men at the conclusion of the year 2020 annual sensitization and public enlightenment programme of the agency, held on Friday, January 31st, mentioned some of the improved logistic supports from the state government to the agency, which include five brand new Innoson manufactured firefighting trucks donated to the state fire service, the previous day, Thursday January 30.
He mentioned that the logistics support from the state government was cardinal to the training of about 51 new intakes of the Fire service, each of whom will be deployed to the various the newly established Fire stations across the state.
The Enugu state Chief Fire officer stated,’ For the fact that every fire incidence is like an accident which no one knows when and where it will occur, the Enugu state fire service in the past few years have been able to train additional manpower to man our various fire stations and the equipment. The latest in the series of our man power training is a total number of 51 firefighting officers, which just passed out yesterday, awaiting their deployment the various stations’.
‘Like you know, with great support of Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, the state fire service under my watch has been able to establish functioning operational bases, one in each of the three senatorial districts of the state, in as much as the state quarters here is very much fortified’
He disclosed that the state fire service is aiming to establish an equipped Fire service station in each of the 17 local government areas of the state. He revealed the state fire service under his watch distributed industrial fire extinguishers, fire balls etc provided by Governor Ugwuanyi administration freely to 28 major markets cut across the three senatorial zones of the state, late last year prior to the harmattan season. A proactive measure which helped in fire outbreak control at Ogbete Main market Enugu on first week of January 2020 and in some other places, as the management of the state fire service equally taught the traders on how to use the fire equipment on delivery.
According to him, with modern firefighting equipment and trained manpower, the management of Enugu state fire service have responded rapidly to every report of fire incident in all nooks and cranny of the state, even as he said their lines are very open to members of the public throughout 24 hours, both night and day.
The Enugu state chief fire officer Engr Ohaa who further rolled out it’s staff and equipment into the streets on January 31st for a road walk, said such enlightenment and sensitization programme, are part of strategies of getting closer to the public, disseminating information directly to them and taking their feedback.
His words, “As part of today’s sensitization, we also reeled the State Fire service emergency numbers to members of the public, assuring them of our adequate and rapid response to any reported case of fire incident in any part of the state. Even though we are not praying for such, but the propensity of fire outbreaks especially within this period of harmattan season is very obvious”.
“I also want to use this opportunity to inform you that today’s sensitization programme is a continuation of our efforts to keep the citizens and all residents of Enugu state to be fire conscious at all times, Prior, to the beginning of the dry season’s harmattan, we have taken a sensitization tour to all major markets in Enugu state, starting from the Ogbete Main market, to Gariki market Awkunanaw, the Relief market otherwise called New market, Obolloafor market, Orie Emene, among others, Timber sheds and other sensitive points in the state, teaching and enlightening on the basic methods to prevent fire incidents”.