The Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, has commissioned 20 new Basic Life Support ambulances buses and seven state-of-the-art firefighting engines for use by the Federal Fire Service in order to ensure prompt response to urgent calls (FFS).
The equipment is part of a N10.4 billion infrastructure upgrade approved by the Federal Executive Council on March 3 that includes 44 firefighting engines, 15 water tankers, 15 rapid intervention fire engines (not conventional ones) that can go into any nook and cranny to respond to distressed calls, and 20 basic life support ambulances, according to the Minister.
In his address during the commissioning and the pulling out of Senior officers of the service, Aregbesola explained that the ambulances are an innovation to firefighting, as it has become obvious that para-medical services are an adjunct of disaster and emergency management.
He expressed optimism that the intervention would help to provide emergency medical services to the needy and evacuate victims to the nearest medical facility in real time.
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“It is heart rending to see the wounded and other victims of fire disasters and other emergencies with varying degrees of burns and injuries lying on the floor, waiting for evacuation to hospitals and many die helplessly in the process. This intervention should address this challenge and save lives.
“In March, I approved the training of 21 fire-fighting officers in the University of Civil Defence and Emergency Studies, Minsk, Belarus, among other agreements with the country. These officers will be the master trainers that will be training other officers locally on modern firefighting, disaster and emergency management.
“I must thank President Muhammadu Buhari for his continued support for the Ministry of Interior and her agencies. It pleases me to state that the delivery of these new Basic Life Support ambulance buses and fire trucks is indeed a further testimony of his resolve to reposition the FFS for better service delivery in line with it’s core mandate, which include humanitarian and emergency services.”
He said that since the inception of the present administration, FFS has experienced a phenomenal transformation from a moribund department to a vibrant organisation equipped with modern and state of the art firefighting equipment be manned by well trained, dedicated and committed personnel.
“The arrival of these new ambulance buses and trucks and their deployment to the various Zonal and state Commands would surely enhance service delivery of the Federal Fire Service during emergencies.
“I will therefore urge the Zonal and State Commands where these vehicles would be deployed to reciprocate the Federal Government’s gesture, to optimize and effectively use these assets to improve fire cover, enhance emergency response operations, and complement State Fire Services operations while enhancing fire safety across the country.
“I have directed the Service to re-engage the manufacturers of these vehicles on their maintenance and also to train young Mechanical and Electrical Engineers/ Technicians that will in future be saddled with the responsibility of maintaining the vehicles.
Speaking further, he also congratulated the gallant officers pulling out of the Service upon attaining the statutory age of service.
“The Federal Government of Nigeria under the leadership of President Buhari congratulates and appreciates your selfless service to the Service and the nation at large. The country salutes your courage and on behalf of the President, I wish you well in your future endeavour.”
Earlier, the Controller General of the Federal Fire Service, Dr. Liman Ibrahim noted that the phenomenal increase in fire fighting and emergency asset base under the watch of President Muhammadu Buhari was unprecedented in the history of the Service.
He stated further that the efforts were confirmation and demonstration of the Federal Government’s commitment to ensuring the safety and security of lives and property of all Nigerians.
The highlight of the event were the pull-out ceremony of two Deputy Controllers General of the Service- Engr. Q.G. Azogu and K.C Agu as well as an Assistant Controller General, Thompson Mohammed.