Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has said that regular training, equipment upgrade, improved welfare for firefighters and constant public awareness among other proactive measures are germane to curbing fire outbreaks and mitigating against losses in case of fire disaster.
Obaseki who said this in commemoration of the International Firefighters’ Day marked every May 4, said that it was necessary to celebrate firefighters because of their immense contributions to stemming disasters as first responders to fire incidents and other emergencies.
According to him, “As we mark this day, it is important to note that we all should be safety conscious as we go about our businesses. Much as we expect the fireman to be available to quell a disaster, we should do well to do our bits to prevent fire incidents. In workplaces, markets, public and private facilities and properties, it is pertinent to ensure that there are functional fire extinguishers and other emergency facilities.”
He said that the Edo State government is revamping its firefighting agency in line with the demands of global best practices, noting that architectural designs of markets and public buildings should allow for space and facility for firefighters in the event of fire incident.
Noting that the firefighters have often risen to the occasion even in the face of difficult infrastructural impediments to their trade, he said “we appreciate the deftness of firefighters in helping to tame fire outbreaks and provide first-responder assistance to victims. Much as there are infrastructural limitations to their work, firemen have been instrumental to ensuring that people are not just safe but properties are not lost, or in the worst of cases, the losses are lessened.”
International Firefighters Day, also known as ‘Day of Fire Service’ or St. Florian Day, according to the organisers, was instituted after a proposal was emailed out across the world on January 4, 1999 due to the deaths of five firefighters in a tragic circumstance in a wildfire at Linton, in Victoria, Australia.
It is marked to “show support for all firefighters worldwide; recognise their level of commitment and dedication; remember those lost or injured in the line of duty and show a mark of respect.”