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Fire Service to introduce National Fire Policy

The Federal Fire Service, FFS, has reviewed some fire service policies for effective and efficient management of fire administration in the country.

The service has also set up a committee to conclude the compilation of the national safety code.

This followed the conclusion of a retreat organised by the service for top management staff, in Minna, Niger State.

The documents reviewed include; Fire and Rescue Safety Code, National Fire Rescue Policy, Standard Operating Procedure and Federal Fire Service Rules and Regulations.

 The Controller General of the FFS, Dr Liman Ibrahim said the review of the National Fire Policy, rules and regulations had been concluded and the SOP adopted however the National fire Safety Code is yet to be completed. 

CG Liman addressing some of the participants during the retreat in Minna, Niger State. Photo: Halima Idris

Dr Ibrahim explained that the delay was to enable them to do justice to the documents owning to its importance.

“When the safety code is approved, every fireman will know the different types of disaster, approaches to disaster and who is to lead in such disasters. 

 The SOP isn’t only about firefighting emergency but caters for over 100 other types of emergencies or disasters that are spelt out in the document,” the CG said. 

New fire policy spelt out responsibilities

Dr Ibrahim further explained that the fire policy had spelt out responsibilities for local governments, states and federal government in fire administration.

”We have rules and regulations which is how we check the conduct of personnel. The disciplinary committee will be like a court. When an officer commits an offence, the rank of the fireman will determine who is to try the offender. A junior officer can appeal to the CG while a senior officer can appeal to the Minister of Interior. When you appeal, another committee is expected to be set up to look at the case before a final decision could be taken”,  the CG added.

The Fire Boss said that the review was to fill the gap in the guidelines and ensure that structural developers, builders and occupants building and properties adhere to the fire safety regulations. 

According to the CG, the fire service has been operating based on the fire service act which only stated the composition and function of the organisation.

Standing in the middle is the Consultant of the retreat, a retired ACG of the FFS, Mr Oliseh-Emeka Machie addressing the participants at the retreat in Minna, Niger State. Photo: Halima Idris

The Consultant of the retreat, a retired Assistant Controller General of the FFS, Mr Oliseh-Emeka Machie expressed optimism that the documents would facelift the activities of the fire service.

“I advise every fireman to be abreast with what is in the fire policy, the national code, the standard operating procedure, SOP, and the rules and regulations so that you know your right and the senior officers will also know how to treat the junior ones, the junior ones will know that this is what is right this is what is wrong”, Machie said.

 One of the facilitators, a retired Deputy Controller General of the FFS, Quintus Azogu said that the review was apt, as the Act guiding the service was obsolete and needed a rejig.

“Having seen the huge investment and infrastructure stuck in the service by the Federal Government, we can only ensure that other components that will ensure effective fire service delivery is put in place.”

One of the participants, Assistant Controller General in charge of FFS Zone H, covering Sokoto Kebbi and Zamfara states, Ahmed Karaye said details of the review will be made available to the 200 firemen in the zone.

“I have learnt a lot because of the experts present, the importance of this training cannot be overemphasised.

“I will try to impart the knowledge first on the three states’ Commanders and will urge them to retrain all the personnel within the zone,” Karaye said.

Meanwhile, the final document is expected to be submitted to the Minister of the Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola for onward transmission to the Federal Executive Council, FEC, for ratification.

Reporting by Halima Idris; editing by Abdullahi Lamino