By Esther Onyegbula
Public Relations Officer, PRO, of Lagos State Fire Service, Mrs. Adeleke Ashimi, speaks on how the agency is ensuring adherence to safety measures.
Lagos State Fire Service is ever ready for emergencies. In the last one week, we have fought fire in four different places in Lagos State. One of the fire incidents happened at the water works in Onikan area.
And there was a tanker which spilled its contents at Ozumba Mbadiwe Road, close to Law School. The Fire Service had successful operations in both incidents. There was also a fire incident on the Third Mainland Bridge where a vehicle went up in flames and the fire was successfully extinguished without any life lost.
All these tell you the extent we are going to ensure that people and properties are safe. Also, Lagos State government is not relenting in supporting the Fire Service.
We are doing a lot of public education and awareness campaigns. Last week, the National Union of Petroleum and Gas Workers (NUPENG) invited us to a three-day campaign, to enlighten truck and tanker drivers. Our Commandant and other stakeholders brainstormed at the session.
Fire incidents are usually caused by carelessness. Imagine a person going out and leaving a lighted candle on the table. People should be careful when dealing with naked fire and, if you use gas in your home, make sure the gas cylinder is properly placed outside the kitchen. People should adhere to simple safety instructions.
The Fire Service has been conducting a lot of public education. Even when school children come for excursion, we educate them on fire fighting operations and in case of fire outbreak what they need to do. So if members of the public can adhere to simple instructions and avoid being careless when dealing with naked fire, we won’t be having problems.
Lagos State government is repairing fire hydrants in locations across the state so that in case of fire outbreak, fire fighters can easily access the hydrants within that location and replenish.
Swift response of the Fire Service is dependent on when we receive call. When there is an incident of fire, it is usually a ‘Good Samaritan’ that will call and the fire might have been raging for 30 minutes to one hour before the call.
It is when we receive the call from the command centre that we respond. In fact once they ring the bell, operatives set out and don’t forget the issue of traffic and the state of our roads and people’s unfriendly attitude when they see fire fighters truck of creating way for them to move freely.
We have a program to sensitise members of the public on fire especially in the last four months of the year popularly called EMBER months because experience has shown that more mishaps tend to happen in these four months. Between January and September, 2019, Lagos Fire Service responded to 1,030 emergencies and rescued 140 victims.