Read Time: 3 minutes
The only fire tender serving the Eastern Regional capital Koforidua and its environs has been grounded for the past two years due to lack of funds to repair the vehicle.
Efforts made by the management of the Ghana National Fire Service in Koforidua to secure GH¢20,000 to repair and service the broken down vehicle have not been successful.
The situation has disabled the fire service from responding swiftly to fire outbreaks in the regional capital increasing the vulnerability of sensitive institutions such as banks, security installations, Ministries, agencies, and departments in case of fire outbreak.
The worrying situation has compelled management of the Koforidua Fire Station to improvise with an old rickety fire tender but it malfunctions and frequently breaks down.
New Juaben Municipal Fire Officer Divisional Officer(DOIIl) – Ayitey Brown Oquaye told Starr News, the Koforidua Fire station ” is one of the sensitive fire stations looking at the proximity where it is sited and also I will be very grateful that cooperate bodies, institutions, banks must see the service as such and they should come to our aid.”
He continued “this station fights 15 to 30 fire incidents a month because if you look at the proximity if when you take it from here to Nkurakan direction, the nearest fire station is Assesewa when you take it this way the nearest fire station is Akuapem -Mampong, and when you take this way too is Suhum, So we must understand the fact that the siting of the station is very critical where it is now and the proximity so when we are in crisis we expect the cooperate bodies which we have to serve like the banks whatever should come to our aid because this 20 thousand or plus shouldn’t be a money that will pay this thunder for the past two years you see so they should help us just like they help our sister security stations they should come to our aid.”
On Tuesday morning, fire razed down at least three shops in Koforidua. The scene of the incident was about 5 minutes drive from the Koforidua Fire station however firefighters from the station could not respond quickly due to the unavailability of fire tender. It took the intervention of a fire tender from the regional office which arrived 40 minutes into the incident.
The blaze had already consumed properties worth millions of cedis before doused by the fire service personnel.
The victims accused the fire service of responding very late to their distress calls considering the proximity of the scene to their office.
However, DO III Ayitey Brown Oquaye, said even though the fire station is constraint logistically, the call came late, meanwhile, they have to fall on the Regional Headquarters for intervention.
“I don’t think is accurate because what we did at the time we received the call when we went to the scene the information that we picked there or gathered there implies that the fire started earlier enough but with their quest to extinguish it themselves and all that resulted in the delay but as we got the call we were very prompt unfortunately the issue has to do with our fire tender here. The tender has been grounded for sometimes now. So as we work as a team, we have to fall on the regional headquarters for assistance. so in terms of proximity, we are close but then since we all work hand in hand then we fell on them and they came to our aid.”
The Municipal Fire Officer appealed to corporate institutions in Koforidua to support the station to complement government’s effort to enable it work effectively to save lives and properties.
“The Ghana National fire service is a service that renders service to institutions, homes, domestic places and all that. what is important is that cooperate bodies must see the service as such and when we are in crisis they should come to our aid that is the fact, we have other sister security services that most of these corporate bodies assist but when it comes to the fire service is zero most of the time.”