THE Brong Ahafo Regional Fire Command is to close down all Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) filling stations in the region that do not meet fire safety requirements.
Twelve out of the 32 filling stations in the region, have no fire certificates to operate.
The decision was taken following the recent gas explosion that occurred near the STC bus Terminal and the Sunyani Polytechnic, which resulted in three injuries.
Mr Paul Opoku, the Regional Fire Officer made this known at a ceremony at the Regional Fire Service Headquarters in Sunyani at the weekend to celebrate this year’s Father’s Day.
The day was to encourage male personnel of the service to take up their responsibilities both at the work place and in their homes. It was also used to honour the Brong Ahafo Regional Minister; Mr Kwadwo Nyamekye-Marfo, who is the Chairman of the Regional Security Council (REGSEC) for his hard work and helping to maintain peace and security in the region as well as being the father of the region.
Giving an overview of the command, Mr Opoku said the command had fire stations in 12 out of the 22 municipalities and districts in the region and plans were underway to open offices in the remaining eight by the close of the year.
He said the new stations to be opened would be at Kwame Danso, Kukuom, Yefiri, Chiraa, Nsoatre, Nkrankwanta, Abesim, Bechem, Odumase and Wamfie in the Sene, Asunafo South, Nkoranza, Sunyani West, Dormaa East, Sunyani East, Dormaa West and Tano South municipalities and districts respectively.
Mr Opoku explained that the reason to open more fire stations in the region was to ensure that every community could respond to emergency situations quickly.
The regional fire officer disclosed further that the command had 12 fire engines but at the moment only five were serviceable and expressed the hope that the region would be considered when new fire engines ordered by the government for the service arrived before the close of the year.
Mr Opoku said 161 fire outbreaks were recorded between January and May, this year in the region, giving the breakdown as 57 domestic, 56 bushfire, 15 vehicular, seven industrial, 11 electrical, one commercial and 13 others while four deaths and six injuries were recorded for the period.
As part of measures to reduce fire outbreaks in the region, Mr Opoku said the command had intensified its fire prevention education campaign and had also planned to inaugurate more fire volunteer squads to help prevent bushfires this year and beyond.
The Regional Fire Officer appealed to the government to help complete the Regional Fire Service Headquarters building, started in 1999, as soon as possible to enhance effective and efficient operation of the service.
In response, Mr Nyamekye-Marfo expressed his appreciation to the service for recognising his efforts to ensure peace and security in the region, saying this would not serve as a source of motivation to him but to all in the various security services in the region.
He gave the assurance that the government would meet the logistical needs such as accomodation of the personnel of the various security agencies in the region since the region was a beneficiary of the government’s housing project for security personnel.
“As I am speaking with you now, a team from Accra is in the region to inspect the proposed sites for the housing project and very soon accommodation for personnel in the region would be a thing of the past”.