Expert calls for safety regulations, standardisation in firefighting

Fire and Disaster Management Expert, Mr Virgil Akama
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By Kelechi Ogunleye

A Fire and Disaster Management Expert, Mr Virgil Akama, has called for the implementation of proper safety regulations and standards in firefighting in the country.

Akama, who is also the Managing Director, Assetbow Limited, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Abuja.

He said that the implementation of proper safety regulations and standards was necessary for better coordination and synergy in firefighting.

“As you very well know, the standards are not the same and we look forward to a nation with firefighting capabilities as obtained internationally.

“We all know that the current situation of firefighting in the country is not yet where it ought to be especially in the area of regulation,” he said.

He further said that there was need for synergy and better inter-agency collaboration to save lives and property.

“In terms of multi-agency response, we want to see a response that is properly synergised, coordinated, efficient, effective, hence, save more lives and property.

According to him, firefighting in Nigeria has not been effective to the point where citizens are confident in firefighters during emergencies.

“When there is a fire situation that involves lives, can Nigerians beat their chests that it would be effectively and efficiently managed?

“Where there are inter-agency responses, it’s a chaos, most times it’s not coordinated and there are situations where who is in charge is not glaring,” he said.

Fire and Disaster Management Expert, Mr Virgil Akama
Fire and Disaster Management Expert, Mr Virgil Akama

Akama also said that the issue of re-orientation of the populace on firefighting was also very important.

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“The citizens of this country are not well educated as to how the fire service operates and I think it’s a matter of re-orientation of the populace.

“The fire service personnel are not doing themselves any good, are not even trying to educate the public about their jobs, and that’s the reason why sometimes they get to a fire scene and can’t do anything.

“No two fire incidents are exactly alike and and there are very different items and medium used to fight different types of fires; the public must be made aware of this,” he said.

He however said that as fire safety specialist, his organisation had advised the Federal Fire Service on some of its observations.

“As an organization and with the type of expertise we have, we have been able to point out a couple of our observations and proffered solutions to FFS Controller General alongside his management team.

“We have made presentations especially during conferences, seminars and workshops that relate to the fire fighting and fire extinction profession.

“We have also tried to assist in the area of capacity building of the fire service and we will not relent as we plan on strengthening our relationship to achieve better results,” he said. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

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Edited by Maharazu Ahmed

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