By Makutu Manneh
The Spokesperson of the Gambia Fire and Rescue Service (GFRS) Pateh Gibba, has disclose that firefighters do not have the required equipment to quell high risk fire outbreaks in the country.
The GFRS Spokesperson made this disclosure during an interview with this reporter on Tuesday January 14th 2020 in his office in Banjul.
“We do not have the right equipment to tackle industrial fires in the country. The firefighting equipment we have are obsolete because they have been used in United Kingdom (UK) for over fifteen years,” he said; that they can only take care of domestic fires like household and office fire outbreaks; that even with this, the GFRS is not well equipped to capacity to contain such fire outbreaks with the swiftness they deserve.
“It is time that Government realizes the pain and suffering of taxpayers who lose their materials and sometimes even lives to fires, due to the limitation of firefighters in fighting such fires,” PRO Gibba said.
PRO Gibba lamented the insufficient water they come across during firefighting operations because of the unavailability of hydrants with the areas where the fires occur; that the availability of hydrants in every corner of the country is a pre-requisite to swiftly extinguish fire outbreaks.
PRO Gibba further dilated that British hydrants should be the ones used in the Gambia; that current hydrants use by firefighters are not the right ones.
He however commended the current Government of President Adama Barrow for supporting them with the shipment of donated materials form the UK to the GFRS and for paying all expenses due at the customs.
He urged Gambians and philanthropists to support GFRS. He concluded that in other countries, fire service organisations are managed by Councils and called on all and sundry to assist the Department.
If readers can recall, the GFRS has been widely criticized by members of the public for inadequately responding to their needs during fire outbreaks.