The Controller General of the Federal Fire Service, Dr. Ibrahim Liman has assured Nigerians that the Federal Fire Service is better prepared and positioned to respond aptly and effectively to fire incidents and other emergencies in the country.
He gave the assurance on Thursday in Abuja in his end of year message to Nigerians, stating that efforts by the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration to safeguard the lives and property of Nigerians has led to the procurement of fire fighting assets, training of staff, motivation of staff of the Service, among other developmental strides.
He said before 2015, the Federal Fire Service had only three rickety fire fighting trucks, but now, the Service has procured 141 modern fire trucks, staff strength has increased from 600 to over 6,000, and the Service has expanded from initial presence in just Lagos State and Abuja, to all States of the federation.
He added that the Service now has an ambulance service with 15 life saving ambulances which were procured this year and well trained medical personnel for effective paramedic service during emergency response.
He said “to reduce our response time we have now in addition to our control room, set up a National Fire Data Repository Centre (NFDRC) which is housing the Nigerian Internal Security and Public Safety Alert System (NISPSAS) where emergency video calls are received, showing real time video location of the caller.
Liman further disclosed that this year, the service procured a hydraulic platform fire fighting truck which has the capacity of fighting fire in a 18 storey building, as well as used to effect rescue, noting that the Service sent some of its staff for training both within and outside the country – in Belarus, UAE, UK – in order to understand and utilise the newly procured equipment and innovations.
He said: “All of these have resulted in the reduction of loss of lives and property from fire incidents. If you check our fire statistics this year, in comparison to other years, you will see that this year there is a drop in the loss of lives from 147 lives in 2020 to 70 lives in 2021 and increase in the estimated property saved from 1.4 trillion in 2020 to 19.4 trillion in 2021. For me that is something to be grateful for.
“One of the important things we have achieved this year is the review of our working documents. In our efforts to give Nigerians a new branded Fire Service, we’ve been able to review our key working documents, they include, Nigerian Fire Policy, National Fire Safety Code, Standard Operating Procedure, Rules, Regulations and Disciplinary Act. I believe that when this is done, both Nigerians and the Nigerian Fire Service will be better for it.”
The Controller General said Nigerians now have a Fire Service that they can be proud of as other African countries now come to Nigeria to emulate what is happening in the Service. “Nigerians need to know that they now have a better Fire Service than they used to have. They can visit various stations in the State to see the new Fire Service in terms of equipment, personnel and technology. We might not be where we are suppose to be yet, but certainly we are not where we use to be 6 years ago, all thanks to the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
He said: “The citizens have a role to play in the safeguarding of lives and property. These roles include compliance to fire safety code, taking seriously safety educations, not involving in negligent action that could result to fire, knowing the emergency numbers and calling them in good time when there is fire or any emergency, as well as refraining from obstructing emergency vehicles on the road to emergency scenes, and desisting from attacking firefighters at fire scenes. If we all do these, Nigeria will have a tremendous reduction in the loss of lives and property from fire related emergencies.”
Liman used the occasion to wish Christians a happy Christmas and new year celebration, while urging Nigerians to be safety conscious and avoid activities or actions that might lead to fire incidences, especially at this period of the yuletide and harmattan where fire occurrence tendencies are high.
He urged Nigerians to call 08032003556 or 112 in time of emergency.