By Victoria Onehi
The Minister of Interior, Dr Olubunmi Tunji- Ojo has tasked the Federal Fire Service (FFS) to move from combating fire outbreaks to preventing it by forecasting.
The Minister disclosed this at the commissioning of Firefighting Trucks and Ford Rapid Response Vehicles at The Federal Fire Service Headquarter, Garki, Abuja, today.
The Minister said: ” Your responsibility is not just about combating fire, your responsibility has to do even with forecasting danger. We have to go beyond migrating from the era of corrective activities to the era of being proactive. This will lead us to preventive measures that can save lives and billions of naira.
” As your minister, I do not want your performance to be valued around buildings , infrastructure and that you are able to quench fire, that is not the strength. The strength lies in the percentage decline that I see in fire outbreaks. That tells me your preventive measures are being put in place.” Tunji- Ojo said.
The minister further stated that the responsibility of the service is not just about fire -fighting but about rescue management hence the name will be changed soon.
” You are supposed to be and you must be the first responder in emergency situations. The Fire Agency which is the Fire Service will soon be , Federal Fire Service and Resue by the grace of God. It will be expected to collect information, to access risk in various areas accross our geo- political zones as well as protect the health and safety of its fire fighters. “
Tunji- Ojo further disclosed that Nigeria being one of the biggest economies of the world cannot afford to pay lip service or be non- challant to it’s fire service.Hence,he said Nigeria should grow its Fire Service capacity to countries like Japan who have a total of 167,500 firefighters and cities like New York which have 254 Fire stations.
” The more you develop ,the more commercialisation takes effect.The more you grow as an economy,the more you need to expand the coast of your fire service. Fire service is directly related to development in any nation.” The Minister said.
The Controller General Federal Fire Service Engr Jaji O. Abdulganiyu noted that the Minister has without doubt shifted the paradigm by the many meetings, talks, visits, and spirit of duty he has begun to instil in firemen adding that his engagements with the Service awakened the determination to pursue it’s vision and reset its goals by raising the bar for future expectations and achievements.
Abudulganiyu revealed that Fire Statistics reeled out will be better in the coming days, as today marks yet another important milestone in the country’s history as state-of-the-art firefighting trucks and ford Rapid Response Vehicles (RRV) were being commissioned.
” This is an incredible achievement and I am proud of the hard work and dedication of the team that made this possible. Once again, I appreciate the MinisterI for pushing for wide plans and robust blueprint for infrastructural breakthroughs in Federal Fire Service.
“”The commissioning of these firefighting assets today and subsequent deployment will position the Service for better service delivery whistle sending a signal to the general public of the administration’s commitment to protect lives and property which is one of the bedrocks of a responsive administration.
“The Firefighting trucks and Rapid Response Vehicles will provide firemen ample opportunities for time-saving, professional and efficient firefighting and rescue operations across the country.” the Controller General said.