Ghana introduces new fire tenders

New Fire tenderMr Kwasi Ahwoi, Minister of the Interior on Friday said public education was key to preventing fire outbreaks in the country.

He therefore emphasised on the need to intensify public education right from schools, homes, communities and market places to sensitise the public on ways to avoid fire, saying, government was putting up measures to start the education.

Mr Ahwoi was addressing journalists after witnessing the presentation and demonstration of rapid intervention vehicles, the newest and most efficient fire fighting equipment, named Amarok and manufactured by Volkswagen (VW) in Germany at the Fire Academy and Training School in Accra.

The VW Amarok is an all-terrain four wheel fire truck introduced for the first time by Universal Motors Limited to Ghana, to enable government to assess the possibility of acquiring them to fight “small” fires at non-accessible fire scenes.

The fire truck, which is suitable for all types of fire has a hydraulic power takeoff that provides an ample 20 kilowatts to compress foam system. It uses mainly a sticky foam with a small amount of water in extinguishing fires.

Mr Ahwoi indicated Ghana’s willingness to acquire some of the new fire tenders, which he said, would be useful for non-accessible areas in case of fire outbreaks.

“But we have to assess these new tenders and look at our finances and then budget accordingly, to enable us to acquire some of them” he added.

Meanwhile, the Minister announced that the local Committee commissioned to investigate the recent fire outbreaks in the country had already submitted its report, which was being studied by government for further action.

He said the American team on the other hand was also putting its findings together and would soon submit them for study.

Brigadier General John Bosco Guyiri, Acting Chief Fire Officer, Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) said the “Amarok Rapid Intervention is very good for putting out small fires, could move swiftly to fire scenes, where access by bigger fire tenders could be difficult or virtually impossible and could carry less number of personnel to be able to move swiftly to tackle minor or small fires”.

He said the genesis of Amarok was based upon a request by the Bulk Oil Storage Transportation (BOST) Company Limited to the GNFS to provide technical assistance on the procurement of the rapid intervention vehicle to be used in its operations in the event of fire.

Brigadier Gen. Guyiri said based on the request, officers from GNFS and BOST were sent to Germany to scout for such vehicles and settled on the Amarok.

He said the management of GNFS would request that the two Amarok vehicles be given to the Service for further assessment before “we can take a decision on whether to acquire some or not”.

“For now we have only budgeted for equipment and not fire tenders but we still need to assess them and take a decision”, he added.

Mr Peter Kuhn, Leader of the team, which performed the demonstrations, described the new fire tenders as suitable for oil, chemical and accident fire outbreaks in a car crash .

He said it had a compartment of cutters or spreaders, which could be used to cut through accident cars to evacuate victims from accident scenes.

Amarok combines a sticky liquid substance called the oneseven and little water that quickly cools the fire when spread on it and enables fire personnel an easy access to a scene to fight fire outbreaks.

It also contains 250 litres of water with the foam system helping to reduce the cost in fire fighting.

Mr Mahama Ayariga, Minister of Information and Media Relations was also at the demonstration ceremony.

Source: GNA

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