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Govt laments inadequate facilities to fight dry season fire in Akwa-Ibom

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Worried by the collapsing facilities at the state fire department, the Akwa Ibom state Commissioner for Works and Fire Service, Prof Eno Ibanga, has said that the state Fire Service Department would be totally overhauled for greater efficiency.

Speaking with newsmen in Uyo, Ibanga observed that the state fire service has been in comatose over the years and vowed to revamp the service in line with modern fire fighting operations.

He said the overhaul will involve recruitment of staff and procurement of modern state of the art firefighting equipment.

“Recently we discovered that almost all the personnel in the state fire service have retired leaving only a small size of the workforce to handle fire emergencies in the state.

“Technically, equipment in the fire service have become obsolete and need replacement to fight fire outbreak in the state.

“I am planning to bring resource persons for intensive training of firemen in the state. I would do it at the appropriate time,” he said.

Checks revealed that the situation has led to redundancy at the state fire service office along Dominic Utuk Avenue as the number of employees have drastically reduced due to inactivity as only one functional was said to be available to fight fire emergencies.

One of the staff who pleaded anonymity said many staff in the state fire service have retired while equipment at their disposal are not enough to tackle fire outbreaks.

“It is unfortunate that almost 80 per cent of our staff here have retired and government could not recruit new ones to fill existing vacancies here.

“Even the only equipment here, we don’t have consumables to use. These consumables are chemicals such as F-F-F, foam chemicals and other detergents needed in our operations.

“Really the state fire service needs total revamp in terms of manpower and equipment to meet fire emergencies.”

He, therefore, requested the commissioner for works to come to their aid and reposition the state fire service for effective service delivery.

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