THERE are only 14 fire stations in the 22 Municipal and District Administrative capitals in the Brong Ahafo Region.
The region can only boast of five fire engines. The 14 fire stations also lack logistics and enough personnel due to non-availability of residential accommodation for the staff in the region.
Those problems are adversely affecting the operations of the Brong Ahafo Regional Command of the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS).
Besides, the five fire engines in the region have also outlived their usefulness as they were supposed to be replaced after every five years but they are currently over 12 years old.
In addition, poor conditions of service and salaries have also made many personnel in the region to quit the service.
The Regional Command of the GNFS has, therefore, appealed to the government, corporate entities and the public to assist in diverse ways in procuring the requisite and adequate logistics to enhance effective and efficient service delivery.
Speaking at the end of a two-day regional road traffic collision extrication challenge competition in Sunyani, the Deputy Brong Ahafo Regional Fire Commander, Divisional Grade One Mr Apraku Larbi, reiterated the call for the fire service to be well resourced and conditions of service improved to enable the service to perform effectively.
He, therefore, appealed to the government to address the logistical constraints of the service to ensure maximum performance.
The competition, which is a simulation exercise on road accident, was to select a regional team to represent Brong Ahafo at the national competition to be held in Accra in April, this year.
The winners at the national level willrepresent the country at the world competition to be held in Ireland in September, this year.
The aim of the exercise was also to get committed rescue personnel and to sharpen their skills to successfully undertake rescue missions when there was a road accident with the view to reducing casualties.
The teams at the competition comprised personnel selected from the various fire stations across the region, who were divided into teams ‘A’ and ‘B’.
The competition was won by team ‘B’ with 162 points beating team ‘A’ that obtained 161 points.
Mr Larbi also appealed to all stakeholders in the transport sector, including the Ghana Highway Authority (GHA), the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU), Police Motor Traffic Transport Unit (MTTU) and other relevant agencies to intensify efforts to drastically reduce accidents and carnage, especially on the roads.
He stated that the name of the service would soon be changed to “Ghana National Fire and Rescue Service”.
Mr Larbi admonished the public to contact the service through telephone numbers 192 and 193 for fire and ambulance services when accidents occurred to foster a rapid response of personnel for extrication to be carried out.
That, he said, would enhance the efforts of the fire service in saving lives and property that might be involved.
Mr Larbi commended the teams that participated in the exercise, adding that it was the quest of the service to safe lives and property, which was also the core function of the service.