Akwa Ibom State Commissioner for Works and Fire Service, Prof Eno Ibanga, has said that the state Fire Service will be totally overhauled for efficient and effective service delivery against fire emergencies in the state.
He gave this assurance while fielding questions from newsmen in Uyo, Monday.
Ibanga observed that the State Fire Service has been near-comatose over the years and promised to rejig the Service by providing modern fire fighting equipment to impact service delivery.
He said the overhauling would involve recruitment of staff and procurement of modern state of Art Fire Fighting Equipment.
“Recently we discovered that almost all the personnel in the State Fire Service have retired leaving the only small size of the 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 Fire Men in the state. I would do it at the appropriate time”, he said.
When our Correspondent visited the State Fire Service Office along Dominic Utuk Avenue in Uyo , the number of staff working was few while there was only one functional Fire Truck to attend to fire emergencies in the state.
One of the staff who spoke on condition of anonymity said many staff in the State Fire Service have retired while equipment at their disposal is grossly insufficient to tackle fire outbreaks in the State.
“It is unfortunate that almost 80 percent of our staff here have retired and government could not recruit new ones to fill existing vacancies here.
“Even the only equipment here, we don’t have consumables to use. These consumables are chemicals such as F-F-F, Foam chemicals, and other detergents needed in our operations.
“Really the State Fire Service needs a total overhaul in terms of manpower and equipment to meet fire emergencies”.
He, therefore, requested the Commissioner for works to come to their aid and reposition the State Fire Service for effective service delivery.