From Priscilla Ediare, Ado-Ekiti
The Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, has attributed the decline in fire disasters between 2019 till date to the synergy among all relevant institutions working to prevent fire outbreaks in the state
The Governor pledged necessary support of his administration to the Ekiti State Fire Service to improve on response time thereby reducing loss of lives and property to fire incidents and other emergencies.
Speaking on Thursday at the Passing-Out Parade of the newly-recruited fire personnel into the Ekiti State Fire Service in Ado Ekiti, Dr. Fayemi, who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Otunba Bisi Egbeyemi, disclosed that some fire equipment and appliances are being refurbished to be distributed to fire stations across the state.
According to a statement by the Special Assistant (Media) to the Deputy Governor, Odunayo Ogunmola, a total number of 59 fire cadets made up of 42 men and 17 women were officially admitted into the State Fire Service as officers after undergoing intensive training for six months.
The Governor explained that the recruitment of the 59 fire personnel constituting the Squad-4 of the State Fire Service was in furtherance of his administration”s commitment to strengthening the agency’s service delivery through human capital development
He disclosed that fire personnel are being exposed to performance improvement training as two officers from the Ekiti Fire Service would soon travel to Atlanta, United States of America for advanced firefighting techniques as soon as immigration issues are resolved.
Dr. Fayemi appealed to the people of the state to desist from attacking the firemen while performing their legitimate duties stressing the need to always cooperate with them during fire emergencies to enable them to their work effectively.
The Governor stressed in order to improve the operational processes of the Fire Service in the state following his instruction to the state Ministry of Infrastructure and Public Utilities to develop framework and guidelines, the agency had been working with partners to reduce fire incidents.
The partners, according to him, who are collaborating to reduce fire incidents include the state command of Federal Fire Service, Afe Babalola University Fire Department, Ekiti State Emergency Management Agency and National Emergency Call Centre under the aegis of Fire Safety Group.
Dr. Fayemi expressed his gratitude to President Muhammadu Buhari for approving the creation of a Federal Fire Service Command in Ekiti State and the provision of one firefighting truck to complement the activities of the Ekiti government at combating fire outbreak in the State.
The fire equipment and appliances undergoing refurbishment include 5 fire engines,1 water tanker and water reservoir to be distributed to fire stations that are presently without engine and those that are yet to have one including the Oja Oba Ultramodern Market, Ado Ekiti.
Addressing the new officers, the Governor said: “The firefighting profession is a noble one; it is one in which you are required to sacrifice a lot of things for the safety of other people’s lives and property.
“The safety of endangered men and women in the State in times of fire and related emergencies will depend largely on your courage, commitment, determination and resilience.
“This is why as a government, we have spared no effort in ensuring that you underwent the best of professional training to enable you discharge your enormous responsibilities within the best practice.”
Earlier, the Commissioner for Infrastructure and Public Utilities, Mr. Bamidele Faparusi, said the Fayemi Administration has repositioned the Fire Service which he said was abandoned by the immediate past administration which left staff morale at lowest ebb.
Mr. Faparusi who stressed that the importance of Fire Service to the state economy cannot be overemphasized hailed Governor Fayemi for promptly approving the proposal to employ 59 new fire personnel to ensure effective service delivery to the people.
The Commissioner who described the employment of the new personnel as a rare opportunity which has lifted them out of the labour market urged the new officers to do their best in saving the lives and property of the people of the state from various hazards.
The state Head of Service, Mrs. Olapeju Babafemi, in her remarks urged the new officers to justify their employment saying the Governor sanctioned their recruitment at a time the state is facing economic challenges.
Mrs. Babafemi urged them to show quality performance and character which she described as important prerequisites in public service.
The new officers treated the guests to a colourful parade to mark their employment into the State Fire Service.