The Ashanti Regional Command of the Ghana National Fire Service has initiated steps to collaborate with city authorities and traditional leaders to build more fire stations to deal with the increasing rate of fire outbreaks in Kumasi.
Currently, there are six fire stations at Manhyia, Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Chiapatre, Bremang and Kumasi Metro.
The Regional Fire Commander, Deputy Chief Fire Officer (DCFO) Semekor Fiadzo, announced the initiative in Kumasi at a meeting with metropolitan, municipal and district fire officers in the region to review performances and map out strategies to meet this year's target.
DCFO Fiadzo said Kumasi required more stations for tackling the frequent fire outbreaks with dispatch.
The Kejetia Central Market alone recorded more than 10 fire incidents last year, which destroyed property worth millions of cedis.
He said the six stations were located close to one another and were not enough to serve the vast metropolis.
DCFO Fiadzo added that to ensure easy access to where there was a fire outbreak, the command would also meet with the city authorities to check and stop the springing up of slums that were susceptible to fire outbreaks.
As part of the move, DCFO Fiadzo urged the Electricity Gompany of Ghana (ECG) to investigate and disconnect all illegal connections and ensure that the right things were done.
The regional fire command is also training more volunteers at the community level to complement the effort of the service.
That was in line with a directive issued by the Chief Fire Officer (CFO), Dr Albert Brown Gaisie, for all fire officers to be responsive, conduct regular fire education in their districts and ensure prompt responses to fire incidents and emergencies.
The CFO has also directed that comprehensive reports on any fire incident should reach headquarters within two days for action to be taken on them.
“Having more fire stations in Kumasi, therefore, will help us comply more efficiently with these directives,” DCFO Fiadzo explained.
He also stressed the CFO’s encouragement to fire stations to establish cadet corps in second cycle institutions, for which the CFO had allocated uniforms for schools that set up the fire cadets.
DCFO Fiadzo said vigorous fire safety education and other measures had led to the reduction in fire incidents in Kumasi and the region as a whole.