Controller General of the Federal Fire Service (FFS) Liman Ibrahim has appealed to Nigerians to join hands with his agency as volunteer-firefighters to curb fire disasters in the country.
The FFS boss believe that if citizens on ground at fire scenes attend to fire before the arrival firefighters, the excesses of fire menace will be curtailed.
Speaking Tuesday during the commissioning of one modern firefighting truck and two ambulances in Zaria, Kaduna state, Ibrahim said the service in collaboration with state fire service was collaborating to mitigate and engage citizens, villagers and traders on how to minimize fire outbreaks and encourage prompt response to fire disasters.
The FFS boss said: “Nigerians should be auxiliary firefighters like in developed countries as that will help reduce the impact on us and reduce the number of fire outbreak. In developed countries in a situation where you have 50 firefighters, only 20 are on government payroll while the remaining 30 are volunteers.
“Before the arrival of firefighters they are already doing something so the fire will jot spread but curtail it to its origin and control it. What is important in firefighting is control but many people don’t understand when we are controlling fire.
“When property C is on fire we need to protect property B and D so we lay emphasis more on the properties that are not on fire. Because what is on fire is already on fire so we are telling citizens to be auxiliary firefighters.”
According to Ibrahim, fire fighting is everybody’s responsibility and there’s need for robust collaboration between the centre and states.
He called on the state government to make allocation for utility vehicles, recruitment of young firefighters and approval of paramilitary salary structure to the state fire service.
Also speaking at the event, Kaduna state governor, Nasir El-Rufi, who was represented by the executive secretary of Kaduna State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) Abubakar Alhassan, said that the deployed asset will boost the capacity of the state fire service to respond to fire disasters.
For Emir of Zazzau, Alhaji Ahmed Bamalli, the commissioning was the first of its kind in the part of the country.
“We appeal to the fire service that going forward in your next budget that you include the acquisition of utility vehicles to be your next budget.
“We also appeal to the representative of the government to inform the Governor of all said here and we believe he will take action where needed,” he said.