By Victoria Onehi
The Federal Fire Service (FFS) has procured 15 Ford Built Rapid Intervention Vehicles, already delivered to the Service awaiting commissioning and deployment.
The Controller General of the Service Engr.Jaji O Abdulganiyu, disclosed this during the familiarisation tour of the new Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Interior,Dr Mrs Oluwatoyin Akinlade to the Fire Service headquarters in Abuja yesterday.
“Approval of Mr President Bola Ahmed Tinubu GCFR to include the Service Rapid Intervention Vehicle in his motorcade is given. This is the first in the history of Nigeria”. he said.
Abdulganiyu stated that the 15 mini trucks are to help navigate crowded terrains which were hitherto inaccessible to the larger firefighting trucks.
The Controller General said other achievements of the Service include the completion and commissioning of the First Metropolitan Fire Station in Nigeria, located in Kubwa adding that other twelve Metropolitan Fire Stations are at various stages of completion. Also the completion and commissioning of the first Fire House props in West Africa located in the National Fire Academy Sheda.
” Other firsts include celebration of the International Firefighter’s day and approval of a large expanse of land for the building of the Service National Headquarters in Sauka, Abuja, FCT.” Abdulganiyu disclosed.
He noted that in the last eight years the Service has moved from a moribund agency of Government to what can now be described as one of the leading agencies through procurement of state-of-the-art firefighting equipments.
Corroborating this , the Permanent Secretary, Dr Mrs Oluwatoyin Akinlade said she was blown away at the state-of- the art equipment at the National Fire Data Center at the FFS headquarters.
” I visited the National Fire Data Center and I was blown away. The centre is equipped with the state- of- the- art gadgets, robust ICT infrastructure to receive information of fire incidence real time.Accurate location has imbedded in it programmes, so that you can reach out to the nearest Fire Service office to respond. This is good and commendable.
” I have also noted with great admiration the ultra- modern mini fire trucks that you have just received .We know that in Nigeria building codes are not obeyed. You have two houses so close to each other.And when there is fire,the big trucks cannot get through.These trucks will certainly come in handy in putting out such fire.” she said .
Akinlade further emphasised that the mandate of the Fire Service is very important adding that in other parts of the world, Firefighters are known as heroes and recognised as such.
She said; “Your mandate is very important to Nigeria as a whole. I don’t know of anything more frightening as fire. It is destructive and swift to do so but yet when you are called, you move in immediately. Therefore, I say well done.
It is therefore important that citizens of Nigeria know and are assured that fire will not ravage them. But peradventure there is a fire outbreak, that the FFS will be able to put out the fire before lives and property are lost. “
The Permanent Secretary therefore noted that funding, housing, training and everything that can build up the morale of firemen have to be taken into account.
Dr Akinlade called on State Governments to take advantage of the fact that firefighting is in the Concurrent List to help build and equip more fire stations.
“We call on the state governments to please support the FFS and play their roles as well because fire fighting is on the Concurrent List. I have seen highly trained officers and men but the challenge is that the facilities are overstretched. This is why the states must come in too.” Akinlade noted.