As 120 New Fire Fighters Graduate into the State's Fire Service

By Izunna Okafor
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Governor Willie Obiano has tasked the management and men of the Anambra State Fire Service on adequate public sensitization and more effective strategies, to help prevent incidences of fire outbreak in the State.

Governor Obiano gave the charge on Wednesday while speaking at the graduation ceremony of the newly recruited 120 fire fighters in the State, which held at Alex Ekwueme Square, in Awka, the Anambra State Capital.

Represented by his Deputy, Dr. Nkem Okeke, the Governor noted that the number of fire-related disaster in the State has been on the downward trend in the last two years, commended the Management and officers of the State's Fire Service, and reminded them that much is still expected of them, especially as it concerns public sensitisation and finding lasting solution to fire outbreak.

He highlighted some of the efforts made by the current administration in the state to reposition the State's Fire Service for optimum performance and efficiency in its fire fighting and fire prevention mission.

These efforts, he said, include the reactivation of nine fire trucks, purchasing additional new ones, authorising the release of a rage of utility vehicles, reactivation of some fire service stations in the state, directing an increase in the salaries and hazard allowances of fire service men in the state, among others; as well as directing the recruitment of additional 120 fire service men in the State, the graduation ceremony of whom was being marked.

He said, "Although the coronavirus pandemic slowed down this recruitment and training exercise, what we are witnessing here today is a promise made and promise fulfilled.

"We will not only leave the fire service better than we met it; but within the limits of reasonable resources available, we shall continue to support the fire service in view of its relevance in safeguarding the lives and property of Ndi Anambra."

He congratulated and charged the newly graduated fire men to effectively deploy the knowledge and skills acquired in the course of their training in the discharge of their duties.

Speaking at the event, the MD/CEO, Anambra State Fire Service, Air Vice Marshall Ben Chiobi (rtd.) thanked Governor Willie Obiano for the uncommon interest his adminstration has shown in the efficiency and the well-being of the state's fire service and its staff, as has been proved by his continuous support and motivation to them.

He noted that the recruitment of the new fire fighters will not only help improve the manpower sufficiency of the State's Fire Service, but will also help to improve public sensitisation on fire prevention, as well as prompt response and the general efficiency of the fire service.

On his own part, the Chief Fire Officer of Anambra state, Engr. Martin Agbili, who noted that the new officers will still learn as they go far in the job, charged them to carry out their duties with dedication, agility, and commitment to safeguarding people's lives and property, even as he reminded them that their services could be sought even at the odd hours of the night.

Addressing newsmen at the event, the Speaker of Anambra State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Uchenna Okafor, reminded Ndi Anambra of the presence of dry season and the need to be more vigilant and careful, even as he urged them to support the Fire Service in preventing fire outbreak in the State, by adhering strictly to all fire prevention protocols and directives regularly given to them through various means and platforms.

The event was attended by Anambra State Head of Service, Barr. Harry Uduh; Anambra state Commissioner for Ttrade and Commerce, Mr. Uchenna Okafor, the newly elected Chairman of Ohaneze Ndigbo, Anambra State Chapter, Mr. Emeka Udodeme; the MD/CEO, Anambra Broadcasting Service, Chief Uche Nworah, among other government officials and representatives of the various security and law enforcement agencies.

Highpoints of the event include march-pass, drill and first-time experimentation of fire fighting by the graduans, as well as official inspection of the graduans on parade, by the Governor.