President John Evans Atta Mills on Monday inaugurated 54 fire tenders and equipment for the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) in Accra.
He expressed concern about the rampant fire outbreaks that had gutted properties in recent times, and urged the Service to study especially those that had affected markets and provide solutions.
The fire tenders out of a consignment of 127, forms part a procurement arrangement by the Government and Project Development International of the United States of America (USA) under a loan faculty of 49 million dollars granted by the US Exim Bank.
President Mills said procurement of the equipment was evidence of the importance government attached to the protection of life and property. “We are interested in providing the wherewithal for the Fire Service. We are happy to have taken the equipment, but there should not be any fire outbreak,” the President said.
President Mills said the incidence of fires in the markets had caused devastation to many people, who had to start life all over, and expressed the hope that with the arrival of the equipment, it would put fire service personnel in a position to perform their duties to the satisfaction of all and sundry.
He called for a fair distribution of the tenders in the regions as well as their proper maintenance.
President Mills assured the personnel that government would provide them the needed logistics to enable them operate efficiently and effectively.
Dr Benjamin Kunbuor, Minister of the Interior, said the package included 10 water tenders, four arrival turn-table ladders and 1,000 pieces of protective clothing.
He announced that by the end of 2012, 26 dual purpose fire tenders and four water tankers, and an additional turn-table ladder would be procured from Belgium, with a Belgian mixed facility while an Indian Exim Bank package would provide 75 fire tenders, five water tenders together with various spare parts.
On human resource development, Dr Kunbuor said 100 officer cadets and 300 recruits of the Service were at present being trained to augment their strength.
There is also a planned overseas training for operational officers and mechanics in the US next July.
Mr Donald Tetelbaum, US Ambassador to Ghana, said the two nations would have mutual beneficial collaboration in fire fighting.
Alhaji Amadu Sorogho, Chairman of Fire Service Council expressed appreciation to the Government for the swift response to the needs of the Service.
Mr Trevor Fifors, Managing Director of Fire Raiders (Pty) Limited, the company engaged in local training of service personnel, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, commended the personnel for their high level of discipline.
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