By Tobias Lengnan Dapam
The Federal Fire Service (FFS) yesterday commissioned 20 newly procured Basic Life Support (BLS) modern ambulance buses and seven firefighting trucks.
Speaking while commissioning the buses, in Abuja on Tuesday, Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, said they were part of the N10.4 billion infrastructure upgrade approved by the Federal Executive Council on March 3.
He said the equipment were part of the N10.4 billion infrastructure upgrade approved by the Federal Executive Council on March 3, comprising of 44 firefighting engines, 15 water tankers, 15 rapid intervention fire engines and 20 basic life support ambulances.
The minister said the buses will be deployment to the various zonal and state commands to enhance service delivery of the FFS during emergencies.
“I will, therefore, urge the zonal and state commands where these vehicles would be deployed to reciprocate the federal government’s gesture, to optimize and effectively use these assets to improve fire cover, enhance emergency response operations, and complement State Fire Services operations while enhancing fire safety across the country,” he added.
Aregbesola lamented that the year 2020 into 2021 had witnessed frightening fire incidents, ranging from markets to gas and pipelines fires around the country.
“Statistics at our disposal show that the FFS in 2020 to the first quarter of 2021 received 4,541 fire calls from which regrettably, 158 lives were lost and property loss is estimated at N41.5 billion,” he said.
Aregbesola called on the state governors and the local government chairmen to invest in firefighting as well in order to reduce the loss of lives and property from fire incidents across the country.
Earlier, the Controller-General of the FFS, Dr Liman Ibrahim, said the Service’s operational scope had spanned all the states of the federation and the FCT.
He said the FFS would commence deployment of its “personnel and assets to the 72 remaining Senatorial Districts” before the end of this year.