At least 275 recruits of The Gambia Fire and Rescue Service graduated after several months of intensive training. The graduation ceremony, held last Friday at the Serrekunda West Mini Stadium also marked the commemoration of this year's Open Fire Day, attended by scores of dignitaries and a cross-section of the Gambian community, including friends and relatives of the graduating personnel.
Speaking on the occasion, the minister of the Interior, Ousman Sonko congratulated the newly recruited personnel on their passing out. The minister seized the opportunity to comment on the importance of the Open Fire Day, which he said creates an opportunity for the fire service to interact with the community they serve. The day, he added, avails the public the opportunity to know what the fire service is all about.
Sonko urged the newly recruited personnel of the Fire Serviceto effectively utilise and execute the knowledge gained during the course of their training, while warning that there is zero-tolerance to corruption in the Service.
Minister Sonko also lamented the issue of false fire alarms fabricated by some members of the general public and warned people to desist from such acts, as the full force of the law will be applied on individuals found wanting.
Also addressing the new intakes, the chief fire officer, Roger Bakurin, commended the spectacular march past by the recruits. The chief fire officer hastened to underscore the importance of the Open Fire Day, which he explained is set aside to sensitise the general public on fire safety measures.
Bakurin then thanked the inspector general of police, the Gambia Armed Forces, and the mayor of Kanifing Municipality for supporting them during the course of the training.
The deputy mayor of Kanifing Municipality, Yusupha Sanyang, also addressed the newly trained Fire and Rescue Service officers.While encouraging the new intakes to be hard working, Sanyang assured of his office's continuous collaboration with The Gambia Fire and Rescue Service.