The Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) has recruited 303 new personnel to augment its staff strength after an intensive eight months of physical and theoretical training in various disciplines.
The newly recruited officers, made up 215 males and 105 females, were taken through fire science, building construction, fire service management, fire service operation, chemistry combustion, investigation and other drillings.
At a passing-out ceremony held at the GNFS Training School in Accra yesterday, Minister of the Interior, Ambrose Dery entreated the new officers to exhibit a high sense of maturity and discipline acquired from the training.
He said government was very concerned about the physical attacks on fire fighters in the discharge of their duties and called for education of the public to better understand the operations of the Service.
Citing recent attack and injury on three fire fighters at Dawhenya, Afianya junction and an attack on the fire engine and personnel at Asamankese, he said security services could only work in partnership with the general public in their quest to deliver quality service to the citizenry.
"The public must be patient with Fire Service Officers rather than attacking personnel because of alleged delayed response to a fire, accident or purported wrong technique in fighting the fire or rescuing victims," Mr Dery said.
He said management of fires must adopt technological tools as inhalation of fumes was a serious occupational hazard to Fire Service Officers.
He noted that many fire fighters had suffered a lot of strange diseases later in life after continuous inhalation of poisonous fumes from fires.
In view of this, Mr Dery said that government was committed to providing Personal Protective Clothing for all fire fighters to ameliorate the situation.
Additionally, he stated that a Memorandum of Understanding had been signed with the University of Cape Coast, specifically the Forensic Science department to train officers in Forensic Fire Investigations.