Officers of the Upper West Regional Fire Service Command have joined scores of others to commission a new fire station at Gwollu, the SissalaWest District capital. The occasion was used to recognize the passing out of 73 fire volunteers.
Ag. Upper West Regional Fire Commander, DOI Abraham Nii Dodoo said the establishment of the new fire station in Gwollu along with the passing out of the 73 fire volunteers will help ensure safety of lives, protect property and reduce the instances of bush fires.
He added that the occasion will also give many the opportunity to reflect on the careless setting of fire on the vegetative cover along with other challenges including indiscriminate bush burning.
“It is our belief that the presence of the fire station, together with these gallant volunteers will birth new life into Sissala West district in terms of our approach to fire safety and the safety of life, property and the environment in general. Very soon the harmattan season will set in with its attendant bushfires, and the commissioning of this fire station and the presence of this fire disaster volunteers will be a timely intervention to the bush fire menace in the Sissala West district and its environs. Gathering here today offers us the opportunity to ponder over how we carelessly set fires to the vegetation, not caring about the negative impact that it brings to our health, livelihood and the environment”.
He also reminded the people of Sissala West district of the laws and regulations banning bush burning. Mr. Dodoo said the laws of the country state that “a person starts a bush fire if an action of that person results in the uncontrolled burning of a farm, forest, or grassland. The punishment for breaking this regulation is a fine of 250 penalty units, plus up to 12months imprisonment or community labour”.
The Regional Fire Officer bemoaned the upsurge in fire outbreaks in the Upper West Region indicating that, there is an increase in fire cases from 2019-2020 adding that “whiles the region experienced 119 recorded fires from January to October 2019 resulting in a damage to the tune of GH¢318,737.00, the timely intervention of Ghana Fire Service salvaged GH¢1,105,500.00 worth of goods and properties. In comparing this year 2020, it has witnessed 153 recorded fires with a damage of GH¢939,611.00 and Ghana Fire Service saved GH¢1, 115, 700.00 worth of goods and property over the same period. Sadly one person lost his life in the process. This clearly shows an upsurge in the fire outbreaks in the region”.
Meanwhile, Deputy Upper West Regional Minister, Amidu Chinnia Issahaku who officially commissioned the new edifice appealed to the fire volunteers and personnel of the Ghana Fire Service to be committed to their duty of ensuring that fire cases in the region are brought to the bearest minimum. He also called on the Sissala West district Assembly to find a way of motivating the 73 passed out fire volunteers to put out their best in combating fire cases in the district.
Mr. Chinnia again cautioned the officers of the Ghana Fire Service to maintain the fire truck and the newly commissioned fire station.