The Federal Fire Service, FFS, says it saved 1,453 lives and property worth N1.35 trillion in 2020.

The Controller General, CG, FFS, Dr Liman Ibrahim who disclosed this in Abuja at a media briefing said the Service also responded to 3,555 fire calls while the Country lost property worth N32.12 billion naira the same year.

According to the statistics, government buildings recorded 543 incidents while private dwellings recorded 1382 fire incidents.

Also affected were educational establishments, shops, hotels and event centres among others.

The Controller General of the Federal Fire Service, Dr Liman Ibrahim listed the supposed causes of the fire outbreaks.

“574 fire incidents were caused by faulty electrical equipment, 245 by power surges, 51 by candles, 181 by cigarette stubs and bush fires, 404 by accident and arson as well as several other causes,” the CG said.

Dr. Ibrahim said as part of efforts to reduce fire incidents in the country, the Federal Government had concluded plans to establish fire stations in the 109 Senatorial district across the country.

The CG also disclosed that it had established a technical group to assess oil Tank farm safety in the country to mitigate disasters arising from oil tank farm explosions especially in the south west and south south.

CG Liman said the Service will also purchase 89 fire fighting trucks made up of water tenders, 15 ambulances, 25 water tankers and 15 rapid intervention vehicles.

” We discovered that it is necessary to extend our operations from the State headquarters to the Senatorial Districts so that we can be closer to the people because the closer we are, the better our response time. The moment we start taking delivery of these vehicles, we will now identify some Senatorial Districts that are more prone to disasters and then we deploy our men and trucks. We will pick them state by state and we must touch every state. The first number of trucks is 44 and we have 36 states. So we will identify one from each of the States and send the vehicle there. When the next batch of trucks comes, we will continue with that until we are able to cover the 109 Senatorial Districts in the Country,” he added.

The fire Boss who frowned at continued attacks by mob at fire scenes, said the Service had concluded an arrangement with the police and the Nigeria security and civil defence Corps, NSCDC, to provide armed personnel for unhindered operation of fire fighters.

“In most cases, our men are attacked when they respond to fire outbreaks and other emergencies. We have records of this from the Nyanya axis. We have stopped our men from responding to fire calls from that area until their community leaders are able to call their wards to order”

“We have also engaged the Nigerian Police and the NSCDC to provide cover for our men and equipment during emergencies,” he further added.

On funding of major projects of the Service for 2021, Dr Liman said there was a section of the NAICOM Act that says certain percentage of money should be given to the fire service at Federal, State and local government levels.

” So we are engaging the management of NAICOM to ensure that they release the money for the maintenance of our fire trucks and capacity building”.

According to the CG, in 2020, the Service inaugurated and deployed 36 state of the art fire fighting trucks across the six geo political zones to compliment the state fire services operations and reduce response time to fires and other related disasters.

Dr. Ibrahim said other landmarks were the establishment of eight National Fire Data Repository Centres, NPDRC, across the six geopolitical zones in the Country for prompt response to emergency calls, deployment of fire fighters tunic worth 6.5 million naira to Bauchi and Kebbi States and synergizing with the Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy to improve and integrate the Service’s communication with 112.

Halima Idris

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