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Fire Service Seeks Establishment Of Arms Bearing Unit

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Disturbed by the incessant attacks and harassment faced by firefighters at fire scenes nationwide, the Federal Fire Service has proposed the establishment of an arms-bearing unit (Fire Police) to help protect its personnel.

The Controller General, Federal Fire Service, Dr Liman Ibrahim, disclosed this during a press briefing in Abuja, shortly after some recently promoted personnel were decorated.

He explained that the Fire Police will be responsible for protecting the personnel at fire scenes and investigation grounds from hoodlums and miscreants.

“In order to drive professionalism and strive towards best Wolds practices, the service is pushing to fully develop its Fire Investigation Unit, which translates to a need for more security for such officers in the event that the fire emanated from an arsonist.

Coupled with harassment of our staff at fire scenes by mob action, the service is proposing to have an arms-bearing unit (Fire Police) who will be saddled with the responsibility of protecting our personnel at fire scenes and investigation grounds from hoodlums and miscreants with ulterior motives.”

While noting that in the first quarter of 2021, no fewer than 34 rescue emergencies were conducted, 175 lives saved and 11 lives lost.

He said that while an estimated property of N3.7 trillion was saved, the estimated property of N9.42 was lost within the period.

Speaking further, Ibrahim said that in 2020, no fewer than 1,100 lives were saved while 147 were lost and properties estimated at N1.351 trillion was saved while an estimated property of N32.12 billion was lost.

He explained that the reason for the spike in 2021 figures is because of a significant number of industrial fires that occurred.

Ibrahim further called for the upward review of hazard allowance of firemen to enable them to cater to health challenges that may arise from exposures which in most cases have long term effects on the personnel.

“Another welfare concern is the confinement of the Service to the contributory pension scheme, given the enormous hazards faced as firemen which often results in underlying health conditions due to long term exposures to hazards.

“The current Fire Service Act (1963) is now moribund as a lot has changed 9ver the years.

Most of the laws and fines have turned obsolete. We are reaching out to the national assembly so they can facilitate and fast track the review and amendment of the Act, as this will reposition the Service to enhance timely and professional service delivery.”

Earlier, the Permanent Secretary, Minister of Interior, Dr Shuaib Bagore, charged the newly decorated personnel to improve their service delivery.

Bagore stressed on the need to improve response time to emergencies by personnel across the country.

A total of 157 staff were recently promoted in the 2020/2021 promotions. The promoted staff include; 4 Deputy Controller Generals (DCGs), 14 Assistant Controller Generals (ACGs), 9 Controllers (CFs), 11 Deputy Controllers (DCFs) and 26 Assistant Controllers (ACFs).

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