… Why fire service might require arms.
By Omeiza Ajayi.
For Nigeria’s Federal Fire Service FFS, the stating is through that “when everybody else is going out, the firemens are running in”.
This is typically the case when there is a fire occurrence, however in spite of the sacrifices, consisting of losing lives and limbs that firefighters and females have actually typically made, the Nigerian society has actually not truly paid sufficient attention to the Federal Fire Service. Maybe, this is why apart from ratings of lives that were lost, over N5 trillion was likewise lost to inferno in between 2013 and2018 This is according to main data offered by the Service throughout the 2018 Fire Fighters Day in Abuja. Obviously, the losses likewise prevent those that were not reported to the Service.
The Federal Fire Service was developed by the Federal Fire Avoidance and Control Act of 1974 with a required to snuff out, manage and avoid fire, perform search and rescue operations, conserve lives, residential or commercial property and environment, consisting of performing humanitarian services.
There is no gainsaying the reality that fire events added to the existing wave of insecurity as a lot of those impacted were not just displaced, however lost their sources of work and earnings. By ramification, fire security is a security problem, however regrettably in numerous states of the federation where the Federal Fire Service exists, the company is not part of the State Security Council.
However, how did Nigeria get here? For the past 30 years, the Service existed without proper fire combating devices at the federal level. While the circumstance at the federal was in the past now extremely precarious, the state fire services actually existed just in the creativity of their state guvs.
In the previous one month, there have actually been at least 25 major fire events however none grasped the country like that of Wednesday, October 16 inferno brought on by a fuel tanker at Upper Iweka and Ochanja Market, Onitsha. Within an area of 48 hours, another gas tanker fire happened at Omagba Stage 2, while there were likewise events (though the tankers didn’t increase in flames) at Nnewi, Nteje and Agulu respectively within the exact same state. All these aside from the other events tape-recorded throughout the nation within the duration. Simply today, 8 individuals were roasted to death in a tanker surge at the Felele location of Lokoja, the Kogi state capital.
In 2017, there was a fire break out in Anambra state however the federal firemens from Asaba station in Delta state had the ability to include the fire in spite of needing to take a trip over a substantial range from Asaba to Onitsha.
Nevertheless, on October 16, the circumstance was various for traders at the Ochanja Market in Onitsha due to absence of understanding by some drivers that an emergency situation lorry constantly has the “access”. In reality, some drivers were completing for area (dragging roadway as we state in the regional parlance) with the fire combating truck/personnel from Asaba.
Simply some range to the scene, the firefighters were showered with stones. Hear the Controller General of the Federal Fire Service, CGF Ibrahim Alhaji Liman; “The Federal Fire Service got a call about the fire break out at about 2pm. The control space at the head office in Abuja instantly ended up the nearby Federal Fire Filling station at Asaba, Delta State to take care of the fire. Our guys instantly headed to the scene however it was not possible to compete with the rush hour at the head bridge and behaviour of upset mob who showered stones at them. Therefore, it was not possible for the firemens to get to the Scene and battle the fire in such a hostile environment”.
In the 2017 occurrence, armed workers had actually currently protected the radius of the inferno therefore it was much easier relocating fire service trucks. However this is seldom the case. Just about 2 weeks earlier, a fuel tanker hit a bus and fell while attempting to make a turn simply after the FCT College of Education in Zuba, Abuja. It took almost 30 minutes for the firefighters to get to the scene from the College’s gate, a range of about 500 metres, just since the roadway was obstructed by drivers who declined to pave the way to the firefighting truck and water tender. It took the arrival of couple of civil defence operatives and other security workers to pave method for the firemens.
In Nigeria, it looks as though it was just by mishap that some station house were sited near police headquarters.
Some nations remain in the procedure of producing an armed team in their fire services, while there are those who currently enable their firemens to bring some light weapons. Should Nigeria do the same? Should our firemens go through arms training and bring arms like the Paris Fire Brigade?
In 2017, the Anambra state Federal government had actually acquired 3 contemporary fire combating trucks, bringing the overall variety of trucks in the state to15
They were to be released in Onitsha, Nnewi and Awka, 3 significant towns in the state.
• Controller Generalof Fire CGF, Ibrahim Alhaji Liman.
What occurred to the trucks in the state? What occurred to the trucks released in Onitsha that they needed to await the Federal Fire Service workers all the method from Asaba, Delta state? What is the state of the Anambra state Fire Service?
The fact is that apart from Lagos and to a feasible degree, the Federal Capital Area FCT Fire Service, the majority of state fire services are heart-breakers and would constantly be missing out on in action when their services are required most.
Remarkably, the FFS is working towards enhancing the State Fire Solutions for efficiency and performance and to help in reducing action time, since 90 percent of fire occurrences happen in the states.
In March 2019 when Dr Liman took control of as Controller General Fire just 2 training schools in Lagos and Abuja were offered to train Firefighters, an advancement which required him connect to the Nigerian Cops and the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps NSCDC and got 3 more training schools one from the Nigerian Cops and 2 from the NSCDC. This plan which has actually assisted in training over 2,000 newly-recruited workers is a guideline to the reality that Nigeria requires to do more to reinforce the Service to base on its feet completely.
The bright side nevertheless is that approval has actually been offered for the facility of extra 5 fire service training schools which will quickly remove. They lie in Maiduguri, Calabar, Ilorin, Katsina, and Umuahia. These Training Schools will offer training for not simply the Federal Fire Service workers however the State Fire Solutions and other Fire Solutions within and outside the nation.
Prior to the visit of the existing CGF, the Federal Fire Service had its existence in just Abuja and Lagos and the 6 Geo-political zones; we have Zone A consisting of Benue, Nasarawa & Plateau with head office in Makurdi, Zone B consisting of Katsina, Jigawa & Kaduna with Head Office in Kano; Zone C making up Bauchi, Yobe & Borno with Head Office in Bauchi; Zone D making up Enugu, Ebonyi, & Anambra with Head Office in Enugu; Zone E making up Akwa-lbom, Rivers & Cross River with Head Office in Uyo and; Zone F making up Lagos, Ogun, & Oyo with Head Office in Lagos.
Nevertheless, in between March and now. the Service has actually broadened its functional activities by developing 6 extra Zonal Head office therefore; Zone G – Niger, Kogi & Kwara, with head office in Minna; H -Sokoto, Zamfara & Kebbi with head office in Sokoto; I-Adamawa, Taraba & Gombe, with head office in Yola; J -Owerri & Abia, with head office in Owerri; K-Delta, Edo & Bayelsa, with head office in Asaba; L-Osun, Ondo & Ekiti with head office in Osogbo.
Nigeria has some Flying force officers dealing with the National Emergency Situation Management Firm NEMA. These officers typically assist to fly the company’s airplanes throughout emergency situations. Given that workers of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps NSCDC are likewise emergency situation responders, possibly a few of their armed workers might be seconded to the Federal Fire Service.
The other choice is to change the Fire Security Act to force all states of the federation to embrace the fire security code. A circumstance where a state fire service has less than 10 workers for a population of over 4 million is irregular.
When changed, the Fire Service Act must give powers to the Federal Fire Service to force state fire services to do the needful at all times.