The Vice President of the republic, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia on Friday, January 19 commissioned a Fire Service Academy and Training School in Wungu in the North East Region.
The state-of-the-art facility, with a three-storey administration block, classrooms, male and female dormitories and a dining hall, and equipped with modern training equipment, is the first ever fire academy and training school in the north and the 2nd in Ghana, after the only one in James Town, Accra.
The school will undertake a wide-range and comprehensive training programmes, including rescue, evacuation, decontamination, fire prevention, fire suppression, rescue operations, hazardous materials management, as well as training of bushfire volunteers with skills and knowledge in the area of bush fire management.
Speaking at the commissioning, Vice President Bawumia, who is also the flagbearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) for this year’s elections, said, the opening of the training school demonstrates the commitment of the government to expanding Ghana’s fire training capacity from what has existed since independence.
“The commissioning of this new Fire Academy and Training School at Wungu, marks an important milestone for the Ghana National Fire Service, the Wungu community and for the nation as a whole,” Dr. Bawumia said.
“When we assumed office in 2017, there was only one fire training school in Ghana at James Town. Given the importance of fire service in Ghana, it was important to increase the number of training schools in Ghana. So we made the decision to increase it to 4.”
The commissioning of the Wungu Fire Academy and Training School, Dr. Bawumia noted, is the first of three new training schools the NPP government is building, with the second also set to be commissioned.
“This commissioning means that this will be the 2nd Fire Service Training School in Ghana. Very soon, we will Commission the 3rd in Duayaw Nkwanta and the 4th will be commissioned before the end of this year,” he said.
While touting the NPP’s remarkable efforts at adding three training schools to the nation’s only training school since independence, he also highlighted the significant increase in Fire Service personnel, as well as the government’s commitment to continuous re-tooling of the Fire Service.
“What this means is that in 60 years of independence, we had only 1 Fire Service Training School. Now we are going to have 4 under our government,” Dr. Bawumia said.
“When we came into office, officers were 7000. Under 7 years of the NPP, we have increased the staff strength of the fire service from 7000, to 15,000,” he added.
The Vice President underscored the importance of firefighting and the difficulties associated with it, hence the need to adequately equip them.
“Firefighting is a critical aspect of emergency response, and having a dedicated facility such as this away from Accra will greatly enhance the training of our firefighters and ensure the delivery of the services provided by the Ghana National Fire Service and ultimately save lives in the country.
“Fire and other incidents can be incredibly devastating, and it is our duty as leaders to ensure that we equip our firefighters with the necessary skills and tools to effectively manage any situation being it fire or other emergency situations,” Dr. Bawumia said.
Also present at the ceremony, was the Minister of Interior, Ambrose Dery.
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