The Ghana National Fire Service in the Eastern Region has come under intense public backlash for attending to a fire incident in a hired taxi instead of a fire tender.
The Fanteakwa North District had been without a fire tender for nearly a month now due to a mechanical fault. It came as a huge surprise to locals in the district when fire personnel stationed at the district arrived at a fire scene in Begoro with extinguishers in a hired vehicle on Thursday (27 May).
However, the commander of the Eastern Regional Division of the Ghana National Fire Service, Jennifer Naa Yarley Quaye, said her men deserve to be praised for being proactive despite the challenges bedeviling the unit.
“Our vehicles are faulty. It has a clutch problem for about two weeks now. We have mechanics who attend to them, but within the period, Akosombo had their problems and Nsawam also had their problems and these same mechanics attended to them so it was only yesterday [Thursday], that these chief mechanics said they had completed servicing the Akosombo vehicle, and that they will be moving to Begoro and unfortunately that incident occurred,” Quaye told Accra-based Citi FM.
“They informed [fire fighters] in Bunsu which was the nearest fire station, but to be proactive, they had to go there with a fire extinguisher while they start fighting the fire, waiting for [fire fighters at] Bunsu to come.
“They could have decided to wait at the station because their vehicle was not working and waited for Bunsu to come from far away, but they took that bold initiative to move to the fire scene to assist, so I think we should applaud them,” she added.
The Eastern Regional Command of the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) currently has 25 fire tenders, with one district having just one tender to respond to distress calls.
“As we speak, each district has a fire engine. There are 25 of them. Three of them are faulty as we speak,” the fire boss said.