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The Chief Fire Officer of the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS), CFO Edwin Ekow Blankson, has said his regional commanders will not hesitate to show up at the 6th March Independence parades in motorized tricycles known in Ghanaian parlance as “Pragya” if they are not provided official vehicles.
Addressing the GNFS end-of-year party – WASSA – at its headquarters in Accra Friday, CFO Blankson said all regional commanders of the service were supposed to have been given official vehicles but for last minute procurement lapses.
He explained that all the procurement arrangements had been made for 19 vehicles, some of which were meant for command use, only for the process to be disrupted by a last-minute price change of the vehicles.
He said he will do all it takes to get the regional commanders the same vehicles that directors at the headquarters use.
He, however, noted that in the event that he is unable to get the vehicles for the commanders before Independence Day, they may have to find an alternative means of transport to the event grounds.
“I’m afraid, if I’m not able to [get the vehicles] Honourable Minister, 6th March, some of the stations that I cannot mention, will be attending official programmes in ‘Yellow Yellow Pragya’. That is what they will do because some of them, especially the new ones, have nothing,” he said.
The Chief Fire Officer, CFO Blankson, also put his job on the line to deliver unprecedented results for the service in 2020.
Even though the Service exceeded its target in 2019, he says more is yet to come.
“2020 is a period for Fire Service to experience unprecedented and monumental achievement. I know the press is here and I know my head is on the chopping table…trust me, my reputation is at stake, my career is at stake but from where I sit and where we have reached, everything is between myself and the minister,” he remarked.
CFO Blankson will not give out the detailed plan of the Service but only hinted funding will be secured for the construction of the Fire Service Forensic Laboratory, which is set to begin this year.
While warning against acts of arson, CFO Blankson said plans are far advanced to clamp down on arsonists.
Minister for the Interior Ambrose Dery assured the Chief Fire Officer 11 new vehicles have been procured for the commanders together with 34-seater buses for the service.
He commended the service for exceeding its target in 2019 and urged personnel to aspire higher, promising government’s commitment.
“I’m also reliably informed and confirmed by the Chief Fire Officer that you have exceeded your internally generated fund target set by the Ministry of Finance by 6 per cent.
“This is indeed commendable and I wish to assure the ministry shall engage the Ministry of Finance on the issue of retention and hope that we get good results.”
The National Ghana Fire Service WASSA is an annual event the service holds to thank God for a successful year.
By P.D Wedam|3news.com|Ghana