The engines will augment the 152 equipment acquired in the last three years. The new fleet brings to 232, the number of fire engines available to the Service.
The 80 fire engines worth $15,13,250 million were procured by the government with a loan facility from the EXIM Bank, India.
Five of the fire engines can use both water and foam.
The fire engines are to be distributed to the various districts that do not have adequate fire-fighting equipment.
In a speech read on his behalf at a ceremony at which the GNFS received the equipment in Accra last Saturday, President John Mahama said the presentation of the new fire engines was in line with the government’s efforts to revamp the GNFS into a modern fire and disaster management institution.
President Mahama said the government was determined to re-equip the security services to improve and enhance their operations.
While acknowledging the fact that the service was incapacitated to deal with road crashes, he said the government would provide the required solutions in due course.
On the challenges of water hydrants, he said that the municipal, metropolitan and district assemblies (MMDAs) had been directed to set up boreholes for the GNFS to use in the event of fire outbreaks. He urged them to put the equipment to good use and also maintain them well.
Challenges and frustrations
In his address, the acting Chief Fire Officer, Brigadier General John Bosco Guyiri, said the additional vehicles would enable the GNFS to efficiently fight fires and other disasters.
He cited a number of challenges and frustrations that restrained the service from carrying out its duties as expected.
For instance, the public’s disregard for right of way for emergency vehicles, hoax calls as well as their inability to differentiate the emergency numbers of the various emergency services were some of the frustrations the service had to go through on daily basis.
Brigadier General Guyiri added that the current staff strength of the Service was inadequate compared to the national population ratio which is one office, to 3,200 people.
He thanked the government for the support and gave an assurance that the equipment would be put to good use.