By Salisu Sani-Idris
The FCT Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), on Wednesday in Abuja called for the establishment of a Safety Commission to regulate activities of gas stations.
According to him, the initiative is with a view to curbing fire explosions in the territory.
The Director-General of the agency, Alhaji Abbas Idriss, made the call while briefing newsmen on the activities of the organisation in 2022 and its plans for 2023.
Idris observed that most gas stations and outlets in the nation’s capital didn’t have well trained staffers that attended to customers professionally whenever they went to refill their cylinders.
” Every gas station is supposed to have a protective gear for customers to use within their vicinity to protect themselves.
“Gas selling outlets in the filling stations are supposed to have a wall demarcating them with the filling station, but it is not the situation.
” So, if we need to have a safety commission regulated by the FCT Administration to ensure that they train the workers of those stations and make sure that they do the right thing.
” If not, we will continue to have fire explosions that are going to cause much harvoc in the FCT and we have written to the administration to the proposed establish safety commission,” he said.
The D-G said that the agency had concluded plans to introduce Emergency Marshals to work in different communities across the six Area Councils to curb hazards.
This, he stated, was a measure enunciated to help in managing the adverse effects of the rapid growing population in the nation’s capital.
Idriss disclosed that the agency had carried out hazards mappings in Abuja, identifying areas where urgent attention was required.
He explained that the decision to introduce Emergency Marshals was based on the need to increase Idriss said; saving interventions and also mitigate hazards.
According to him, the Marshals will complement the efforts of volunteers who have played key roles in the agency’s activities.
Idriss said: ” We intend to introduce emergency Marshals this year. These are volunteers who assist students, hospital workers, PWDs, and the general public during emergencies.
” They also assist in facility services, Risk Management and Safety Services by reporting conditions in a building that could present a hazard during an emergency.
” They also maintain an orderly evacuation; conduct a sweep of an area to ensure that evacuation is complete.”
He also stated that the Marshals were expected to participate in debriefings resulting from evacuation and complete a monthly checklist for fire safety issues in their areas.
” The FCT has become a standard in flood control in the country. This is because of a drastic reduction in the impact of flooding.
“We attribute this development to early warning and massive sensitisation on what to do before the rains,
during the rains and after the rains.
” We have also issued early warning in line with the impact- based seasonal climate prediction by NIMET, and the annual flood outlook issued by the Nigeria Hydrological Agency,” he said.
Idriss also said that in 2022, FEMA responded to 42 distress calls on the 112 emergency toll free numbers.
” This shows a marked reduction to
2021 where we had 173 distress calls, I want to attribute this reduction to the massive sensitization of residents.
” In 2022, 270 lives were rescued from various flood incidents received from 16 distress calls
through the 112 emergency toll free number,” he said.
The D-G reassured the FCT residents on the commitment of the agency to the protection of lives and property following reduction of response time from five minutes to three minutes. ( NAN)(www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Josephine Obute/Bashir Rabe Mani