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Fire Service sets up Market Safety Department in Kumasi   
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The Ashanti Regional Office of the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS), has set up a Market Safety Department to educate market women and traders in the Kumasi Metropolis on fire prevention and management.

It has also launched a campaign to assist students in first and second-cycle schools, as well as the local communities, on the harmful effects of fire outbreaks and the need to take precautionary measures.

Mr Francis Darko-Kono, Regional Operations Officer of the GNFS, announced this at a launch of an anti-fire campaign by the Kumasi Metropolitan office of the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) for media practitioners on Thursday.

He said the recurring incidence of fire at the markets should be a source of worry to all.

Mr Darko-Kono said fire prevention and management demand total collaboration of all and sundry, and also called for intensive public education on it.

Kumasi recorded 420 fire outbreaks in 2009, out of which 205 were domestic, 62 were commercial, 63 vehicular, 30 industrial, 16 electrical, six institutional and 26 bush fires.

The fires claimed six lives and left 311 with various degrees of injuries.

Mr Darko-Kono said the lack of adequate and modern fire-fighting equipment and appliances, as well as obstructions and inaccessibility of some locations, were major hindrances to swift response to fire emergencies.

He said the Service was doing everything to reduce the incidence of fire by 51 per cent, and noted that they would need the cooperation of all stakeholders to achieve the objective.

Mr Yao Doe-Tamakloe, Regional NADMO Coordinator, called for effective collaboration between the media and the organization to educate community members on disaster prevention.

Police Chief Superintendent Joseph Obeng, Ashanti Central Divisional Police Commander, appealed to the public to inform the police on actions by individuals or groups that could either cause disaster or crime for immediate intervention.

Mrs Vivien Akumia, the Metro NADMO Coordinator, said it was important to educate and build the capacity of media personnel to enable them to give out the right information to check fire disasters, especially during the harmattan season.

Source: GNA

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