By Omeiza Ajayi – Abuja
The Federal Fire Service FFS has explained how it reduced fatalities associated with fire incidents, saying in 2021, 70 lives were lost as opposed to the 147 deaths recorded in the preceding year.
This was as it disclosed how it saved property worth about N19.4 trillion in 2021, praising Nigerians and sister security agencies for their cooperation.
Controller General of Fire, Dr Ibrahim Alhaji Liman announced this in a statement issued Friday in Abuja and signed by Service Public Relations Officer, Ugo Huan.
He also assured Nigerians that the Service is now better positioned to effectively respond to fire incidents and other emergencies.
He said: “If you check our fire statistics this year in comparison to other years, you will see that this year there is a drop in the loss of lives from 147 lives in 2020 to 70 lives in 2021 and increase in the estimated property saved from N1.4 trillion in 2020 to N19.4 trillion in 2021”.
Liman added that efforts by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Administration to safeguard the lives and property of Nigerians has led to the procurement of fire fighting assets, training and motivation of staff of the Service.
He explained that before 2015, the Federal Fire Service had only three rickety fire fighting trucks, but now, the Service has procured 141 modern fire trucks, staff strength has increased from 600 to over 6,000, and the Service has expanded from initial presence in just Lagos State and Abuja, to all States of the federation.
“The Service now has an ambulance service with 15 life saving ambulances which were procured this year and well trained medical personnel for effective paramedic service during emergency response. To reduce our response time we’ve now in addition to our control room, set up a National Fire Data Repository Centre NFDRC which is housing the Nigerian Internal Security and Public Safety Alert System NISPSAS where emergency video calls are received, showing real time video location of the caller”, he said.
The CGF further disclosed that this year, the service procured a hydraulic platform fire fighting truck which has the capacity of fighting fire in an 18 storey building, as well as used to effect rescue.
He explained that the Service also sent some of its staff for training both within and outside the country – Belarus, UAE, UK – in order to understand and utilise the newly procured equipment and innovations.
“One of the important things we have achieved this year is the review of our working documents. In our efforts to give Nigerians a new branded Fire Service, we have been able to review our key working documents, they include, Nigerian Fire Policy, National Fire Safety Code, Standard Operating Procedure, Rules, Regulations and Disciplinary Act. I believe that when this is done, both Nigerians and the Nigerian Fire Service will be better for it.”
While wishing the Christian faithful a happy Christmas and new year celebration, Dr Liman urged Nigerians to be safety conscious and avoid activities or actions that might lead to fire incidents, especially at this period of the yuletide and harmattan.
The CGF also called on all Nigerians to have in their contacts the Emergency lines 08032003556 or 112 , and call the numbers timely in case of any emergency.