At least 20 personnel of the Gambia Fire and Rescue Services recently began a weeklong training on leadership and management skills at the Management Development Institute (MDI) in Kanifing.
The training, facilitated by the Personnel Management Office (PMO), is the latest in a string of capacity building trainings for the members of the armed and security services of the country, designed to arm them with the requisite knowledge that would ensure service delivery and operational efficiency.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, the deputy director general of MDI, Alieu K. Jarju, explained that the training is the second to last for the country's security apparatus, noting that 2012 was set aside for the capacity development of the members of this crucial sector of the country.
While noting that capacity building is an ongoing process, Jarju urged the personnel to take the training seriously. He impressed on them that the certificates they will acquire from the training will help them in their career. "The training is not going to be end here; capacity building is going to be an ongoing thing," the MDI's Jarju reaffirmed.
Speaking earlier, the chief fire officer of the Gambia Fire and Rescue Services, Roger Bakurin, told personnel under his command that the knowledge they would gain from the training would be totally theirs. "In this job I can give you ranks and take them back, government can retire you, but what you know, you go with it in the grave," he told the officers, while urging them to take the weeklong training seriously.
According to him, there are two types of people on earth - those who lead and those who follow, saying, "you have to decide where you want to be, whether a leader or a follower. The training programme is about man-management, leadership and management. The school of taught that you and I belong to is about man-management and command is about inspiring people, leading them forward, making them do things for the betterment of the intuition".
The chief fire officer stressed that in their job, they cannot afford to make mistakes as the implications to that are severe, in that it either costs somebody his limb, property or life. "So there is very little for luxury of doing it again; when you missed it once, you have missed it.Therefore, leadership has to be very strong," he concluded.