Fire Service Saves 724 lives, N1.629tn

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Kuni Tyessi in Abuja

The Federal Fire Service (FFS) has acquired 10 modern fire-fighting trucks to improve its responses to cases of fire disasters across the country.

The federal government also lauded the agency for saving about 724 lives and properties worth N1.629 trillion between June and October 2019 across the country.

Speaking while inaugurating the newly acquired 10 modern fire trucks yesterday in Abuja, Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, described the delivery of the new trucks as testimony of the determination of President Muhammadu Buhari to repositioning the Federal Fire Service.

According to him, the new firefighting trucks and their deployment to the various new zonal offices would ensure a drop in incessant fire outbreaks in the country.

Aregbesola said the agency has continued to save lives and property through its prompt response to fire outbreaks in the country, even as he thanked the president for repositioning the service.

“The Federal Fire Service has experienced phenomenal transformation from a moribund department to a vibrant organisation equipped with modern firefighting equipment and committed personnel.

“In line with our national response strategy, we responded to 2,615 fire calls; saved 724 lives and assets worth N1.629 trillion between June and October 2019 across the country.

“With the deployment of the newly procured fire engines across the country to boost emergency response, FFS is now present in all the states of the federation and most responsive, saving lives and preventing humanitarian and economic disasters.

“The service has also embarked on continuous development of firemen to international standard to effectively handle fire emergencies. We have also intensified our fire risk assessments of buildings across the country,” he said.

The minister disclosed that FFS has established additional six zonal commands (Bauchi, Makurdi, Kubwa, Abeokuta, Kano and Enugu), bringing the total number of zonal commands to 12 to reduce the response time to an emergency.

According to him, “We have and will continue to develop personnel capacity to respond to building collapse, flood and fire disaster management.

“The FFS established six new fire service training schools in Katsina, Kwara, Osun, Abia, Borno and Cross River States to cover the six geopolitical zones to cater for the human capital development needs of the service locally.

“We have embarked on productive collaboration with NEMA and other local and international stakeholders on disaster management in the country.”

In his welcome address, Controller-General of FFS, Dr. Liman Ibrahim, said the 10 trucks cost one billion, eight hundred and eighty-eight million naira only (1,888,000,000).

The FFS boss revealed that additional three trucks would arrive in the country within the week and will be deployed immediately to three states.

While commending President Buhari, Ibrahim said: “If the present tempo of funding is sustained to enable us meet our obligations to the contractors, I assure the minister that before the end of the year, we shall have fire stations in all state capitals and FCT.”