Obsolete equipment threatens Akwa Ibom fire service
Akwa Ibom State Commissioner for Works and Fire Service, Prof. Eno Ibanga, has said the state fire service will be overhauled for efficient service.
He gave the assurance while fielding questions from newsmen in Uyo, yesterday.
Ibanga observed that the fire service had been in near comatose over the years and vowed to revamp the service.
He said the overhaul would include recruitment of staff and procurement of modern fire fighting equipment.
He said: “Recently, we discovered that almost all the personnel in the state fire service have retired, leaving only small size of workforce to handle fire emergencies in the state.
“Technically, equipment in the fire service have become obsolete and need replacement to fight fire outbreak in the state.
“I am planning to bring resource persons for intensive training of firemen in the state. I would do it at the appropriate time.”
When our correspondent visited the fire service office along Dominic Utuk Avenue in Uyo, staff members seen were very few while there was only one functional fire truck to attend to emergencies.
An employee, who spoke in confidence, said many employees had retired while equipment at their disposal is not enough to tackle fire outbreak.
“It is unfortunate that almost 80 per cent of our staff here have retired and government could not recruit new ones to fill existing vacancies.
“Even the only equipment here doesn’t have consumables to use. These consumables are chemicals such as F-F-F, Foam chemicals and other detergent needed in our operations.
“Really, the state fire service needs total revamp in terms of manpower and equipment to meet fire emergencies,” he said.