By Lukman Olabiyi, Lagos
Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has reaffirmed his administration’s determination to reposition the state emergency response agencies, with the unveiling of three newly-built fire stations and also promise that three others will be ready before the end of the year.
Sanwo-Olu physically opened the Ebute-Elefun Fire Station in Lagos Island, and virtually opened the Oba Gbolahan Lawal Oniru Station, Lekki, as well as the Ajegunle Fire Station in Ajegunle. He also opened the upgraded Fire Service Headquarters in Alausa.
The governor described the event as “a fulfilment of his administration’s commitment to the protection of lives and property of our citizens.
“Two years ago, a performance assessment study of all first responders was done and gaps limiting the effectiveness of their response to emergencies were identified. One of the challenges identified was the inadequate fire stations for a growing state like ours. A fire outbreak is an emergency that can only be prepared for, but the time, speed and scale at which it will happen cannot be pre-determined. This is where response time is critical as it can make a lot of difference between life and death. Therefore, to enable fire responders to reduce the distance and overcome other unplanned encumbrances on the way to the fire scene, the idea of having at least one fire station in each of the 20 local government areas was conceived.
“Three of the six fire stations approved for construction, along with the headquarters, are being opened and handed over today. The remaining three stations at Ijede, Kosofe and Ijegun will be completed and delivered before May 2023.
“We are convinced that the construction of new fire stations will allow quicker response to emergencies within their specific area of coverage because proximity to incident locations is very crucial to rescue and safety operations. With the new facilities, firemen will get to the theatre of operations in record time.
“It is instructive to note that the new fire stations and the newly upgraded headquarters will complement the rehabilitation and upgrading of 13 existing fire stations, which has brought considerable improvement in the structure and working conditions of personnel. Our efforts have enthroned an operational environment that provides the necessary ambience, comfort and support that will ensure the optimal performance of our firemen. These interventions will further consolidate the position of the Lagos State Fire and Rescue Service Agency as a leading firefighting outfit in Nigeria”, he said.
The Oniru of Iruland, Oba Gbolahan Lawal, appreciated the governor for the initiative. He commended Sanwo-Olu for “approving construction of this modern fire station and utilising this land that was bequeathed to the state by my predecessor, the late Oba Idowu Oniru.
“This is proof of this administration’s commitment to protect and preserve the lives and property of her citizens,” he noted.
Oba Lawal said: “The risks have become more glaring, especially knowing that there are no adequate measures to ensure the safety of lives and property in the unforeseen situation of a fire outbreak. This, therefore, goes to show the importance of the provision and maintenance of emergency services. For a long time, Iru Kingdom and its environs have had to depend on the emergency response from the fire stations located in Chevron and Marina.
“A prepared community can make a huge difference during emergencies and help save lives. We, stakeholders and partners, will continue to play a key role towards keeping our community safe and secure…”