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Ghana National Fire Service records over 656,000 prank calls in 2023.

Prank calls overstretch operations and endanger rescuers, chief fire officer warns.

The Ghana National Fire Service reported a staggering 656,591 prank calls from the public in 2023, placing an undue burden on its operations and potentially endangering the lives of rescuers. The incidents occurred between January and November 2023, prompting concerns from the Chief Fire Officer, Mr. Julius Kuunuor.

Speaking at the Thanksgiving Service for the Service’s 60th Anniversary Celebration, Mr. Kuunuor emphasized that prank calls not only jeopardize the safety of incident responders but also contribute to fuel wastage. The Chief Fire Officer expressed the Service’s resolve not to tolerate such deviant behavior in 2024 and beyond, urging the public to desist from making prank calls.

In addition to addressing the issue of prank calls, Mr. Kuunuor highlighted positive developments, noting a 4.92% reduction in fire outbreaks for the first eleven months of 2023 compared to the same period in 2022. This decrease is attributed to extensive Public Fire Safety Education carried out nationwide.

As part of its future initiatives, the Ghana National Fire Service plans to build clinics in all regions and construct a Fire Trauma Hospital to provide healthcare for personnel and the public. The Service is also set to sign Memoranda of Understanding with universities, including the University of Cape Coast, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA), and the University of Energy and Natural Resources, to facilitate training programs for fire personnel.

Furthermore, the Service, in collaboration with the government, aims to procure modern Fire Appliances and Equipment, such as Dual Purpose Tenders, Water Tankers, Rapid Intervention Vehicles, Utility Vehicles, and Command Vehicles in 2024. These new appliances will replace obsolete ones, improve response times, and contribute to the opening of additional Fire Stations.

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