BY PHILIP ANTOH email@example.com
ABOUT TWO thousand Fire Service personnel recruited and posted to the various fire stations across the country in 2018 don’t have the requisite training in firefighting skills but are working as fire service personnel.
Apart from not going through the training school to acquire the skills needed for firefighting for at least two months, most of the recruits do not have the requisite certificate to grant them entry into the service, which is at least Higher National Diploma.
An investigation conducted by the DAILY HERITAGE has revealed that fire service personnel recruited in 2018 spent only a week at the training school just to complete documentation and has since been posted to the various stations on attachment.
This means the recruits have no firefighting skills or knowledge when it comes to tackling flaming fire, exposing them to all kinds of danger and risk.
The development, the paper learnt, is the first time such an incident has happened as officers and men of the service describe it as strange and alien to the practice of the security service.
A highly-placed source within the service told the paper that morale among senior officers had gone down because most of them had been sidelined as junior officers had taken up key roles in the running of the affairs of the service without recourse to ranks.
The source further revealed that most regional and district offices across the country used their own money to buy common A4 sheets, and pay for cost of printing and other financial commitments.
Some of the officers the paper spoke to, who want to remain anonymous, said there were many things going wrong in the service, including the increase in court cases, rise in fire incidents in the country and weak leadership.
They alleged that the recruitment done in 2018 was to satisfy some powerful figures in government, hence the rush and failure on the part of the service to train them at the training school before being posted.
Reacting to the issues, the Public Relations Officer of the service, Mr Ellis Okoe, said the service decided in 2018 to modernise their operations which was why “we decided to post the recruits to the various districts, municipal and metropolitan assemblies for attachment only.”
Mr Okoe said though it had not happened in the history of the service, the recruits were being taken through many other things, including foot drill and many other basic things required for the service.
He added that the recruits were not engaged in firefighting unless they are trained in the area, adding that the recruits were receiving classroom lectures and practical training on firefighting because every fire station in the country has assembling hall, where they receive instructions and training.
“Every person recruited in 2018 has the needed and requisite certificate to be enrolled as a fire officer,” he stated.
Mr Okoe accepted the fact that there are isolated cases in the country where officers have to use their monies or get support from the various assemblies.