Vice-President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, has pledged to provide the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) with 200 rapid intervention vehicles by the close of 2023.
This announcement comes in response to the alarming losses incurred by the country, amounting to over GH¢64 million due to 6,796 fire outbreaks in the preceding year, resulting in 50 fatalities and 241 injuries.
Addressing the issue during the graduation parade of the Cadet Course Intake 23 at the Fire Academy and Training School in James Town, Accra, Dr. Bawumia underscored the severity of the situation, describing it as “unacceptable” and emphasizing the need for collective efforts to find a solution.
The rapid intervention vehicles, as outlined by Dr. Bawumia, are part of a comprehensive strategy to enhance the GNFS’s operational capabilities in responding to fire incidents swiftly and effectively. Notably, a prototype of these vehicles has already arrived in the country, signaling the government’s commitment to accelerating the procurement process. Furthermore, the remaining vehicles will be assembled locally, aligning with Ghana’s efforts to promote domestic production.
The vice president also emphasized that fire outbreaks have not only inflicted significant losses on individuals, organizations, and institutions but have also placed a substantial burden on the government. The consequences of these losses, especially the loss of human lives, remain dire and challenging to address.
Dr. Bawumia stressed the importance of an ongoing commitment to fire safety, urging the GNFS officers to continue their vital work in educating the public about fire safety. He emphasized the need for innovative approaches to disseminate fire safety awareness throughout the country.
In addition to the promise of rapid intervention vehicles, Dr. Bawumia highlighted the construction of two additional Fire Academies and Training schools in Duayaw Nkwanta (Ahafo Region) and Wungu (North East Region), as well as a Fire College in Kyebi (Eastern Region). The first phases of these projects are expected to be completed by the end of September.
The government has also provided the GNFS with two hydraulic platforms capable of reaching the 16th floor of a building, facilitating fire and rescue operations in high-rise buildings. The recent recruitment of 2,000 new entrants into the GNFS is set to strengthen the service’s human resource capacity.