Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Thursday commissioned 62 new fire fighting vehicles to empower the Lagos State Fire Service and improve rescue time during emergencies.
The Governor also witnessed the passing out parade of 435 Senior and Junior Fire Officers who were just recruited into the Lagos Fire and Rescue Service.
Speaking during the commissioning of the fire fighting vehicles and passing out parade of firefighters held at the Lagos House, Ikeja on Thursday, Governor Sanwo-Olu assured millions of Lagosians that his administration would continue to support the State Emergency Response System to reduce the casualty figures and losses resulting from disasters.
The Governor said the huge investment his administration has made in the acquisition of firefighting equipment, recruitment and training of new officers, will be justified through improved dedication and commitment of men and officers of the Lagos State Fire and Rescue Service.
He said: “This administration has continued to build enduring legacies through infrastructural development which has led to the rapid growth in population, institutions and investments. It has also brought in billions of investments into the state thus making our city a haven of unending opportunities and possibilities. This is made possible by the various policies and strategies being implemented to promote an enabling environment for businesses to thrive and sustain the confidence of investors. This heartwarming development comes with an increased need to step up efforts in the areas of the safety of lives and properties as well as a timely response to emergencies.
“Like most smart nations and sub-national governments, we have taken steps to invest in risk mitigation against natural and man-made disasters like flooding, fire outbreak, collapsed buildings, and others, which could negatively impact the lives of our citizens, shatter their dreams and deplete the hope of the vulnerable.
“As a responsive government and in keeping faith with the Security and Governance pillar of our T.H.E.M.E.S agenda, our administration embarked on a journey to put the Lagos State and Rescue Service Agency again on a firm pedestal through human and equipment re-engineering programme. We set out to match the speed of our city development and attendant risks with highly motivated fire service personnel who are equipped with the latest state-of-the-art firefighting equipment customized for our terrain.”
Governor Sanwo-Olu added: “By the occasion of today, we are injecting 60 modern IRO fire fighting engines, with capacities ranging from 10,000 litres and above, and operational vehicles into the fleet of the Lagos State Fire and Rescue Service Agency, as a replacement for the old and non-functional fire fighting vehicles.
“Through the acquisition of these specialised, fit-for-purpose vehicles designed and manufactured to function optimally in our terrain, our administration is providing; one additional water tanker each in all the fire stations, one new fire-fighting truck each in all fire stations, one aerial ladder in each of the three senatorial districts, one utility vehicle each in all fire stations; and one Rapid Intervention Fire Vehicle in each IBILE (Ikeja, Badagry, Ikorodu, Lagos Island and Epe) division of the State.
“The sophistication of the equipment has necessitated a comprehensive training programme designed to upgrade the skill of firemen in the State in their deployment, operations and maintenance. Eventually, every personnel of the service would benefit from a similar training programme on contemporary fire fighting and operational leadership skills.
“In addition, we have recruited 435 Senior and Junior Fire Officers who have been trained in current fire fighting techniques before they are deployed to the various fire stations in the State. With the new fire-fighting equipment and the newly recruited trained officers, the capacity of the Lagos State Fire and Rescue Service to respond efficiently and effectively to emergencies has been greatly enhanced.”
Governor Sanwo-Olu also urged Lagos residents to take ownership of the equipment and guard it against hoodlums by taking care of the public assets. He also implored them to make use of the emergency response numbers in the state when necessary.
“I would like to implore all Lagosians to take ownership of this equipment, treat and protect them the same way as our most cherished personal possessions. We must not allow hoodlums or disgruntled elements among us to vandalize this equipment or subject our fire personnel to psychological trauma in the course of executing their legitimate duties. We must therefore be resolute in promoting the ideals behind our developmental initiatives by preventing and exposing those bent on destroying our collective possessions at all times,” he said.
While urging the new officers to be alive to their responsibilities of saving lives and property, the Governor advised firefighters in the State to document every exercise they embark upon as they take total responsibility to achieve the Lagos of their dreams.
During the event, Governor Sanwo-Olu was decorated by the Controller General of the Federal Fire Service. Physical fitness exercises and house on-fire demonstrations also spiced the passing out parade of the newly recruited fire officers.
Also speaking at the event, the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa commended Governor Sanwo-Olu for his dedication and commitment. “We have a competent governor who is ready to provide and serve the people of Lagos State. We thank you for providing the equipment and making sure we recruit competent officers which we are witnessing there passing out today,” he said.