The Delta State Government has approved an insurance cover of N10 million yearly for personnel of the State Fire Service Command in the event of death, temporal and or permanent disabilities that may occur in the cause of duty.
The State Commissioner, Bureau for Special Duties, Mr Ernest Ogwezzy, disclosed this when he briefed the press on the activities and achievements of his Ministry during the ongoing Ministerial Press briefing by Commissioners on the activities and achievements of their Ministry at the Conference Hall of the Ministry of Information, Asaba.
Mr Ogwezzy stated that the agreement between the State Government and the Insurance Firm (Royal Exchange General PLC) was presently being worked out at the Ministry of Justice, Asaba.
He also said that the Fire Service respond to all manners of distress call such as road accidents, someone falling into a pit, and other forms of mishaps demanding the rescue of lives and property said that the Command received 794 calls during the period from 2015 to April 2018 of which 63 were false calls.
The Commissioner said that a total of 794 fire calls were made and said 63 were false calls, saying that property destroyed to fire incidence during the period was estimated at N13 Billion.
He also stated that 24 persons were evacuated dead from the fire incidences, even as he revealed some of the fire outbreak during the period included Anioma Petrol Station at Okpanam Road, Asaba in December 2015 which he said would have been very disastrous if the fire service had not intervened on time; College of Education Co-operative Filling Station in Warri on January 19, 2018; PPMC Refinery, Ekpan on November 21, 2017 and Ubeji tanker fire incident involving some stores and residential buildings on November 24, 2017.
Others, according to the Commissioner, were Robinson Plaza, Okumagba Avenue Warri on September 17, 2017; Beta Glass Factory, Ughelli, on April 6, 2017; Sapele Main Market on October 13, 2017 and Asaba Aluminum Company on February 14, 2017.
He revealed that in order to effectively combat fire incidences in the State, the Bureau would purchase one brand new fire fighting truck and one ambulance yearly to replace the old ones.
The Bureau for Special Commissioner also said that the Bureau would construct a befitting fire service headquarter at Asaba, the State capital as the current headquarters is located at the Old secretariat and this had been very un-conducive for training and effective management of the activities of the Command.
According to Barr Ogwezzy, a lawyer, fire service stations would also be constructed in all the 25 Local Government Areas of the State which do not currently have one and also purchase some speed boats for fire fighting in the riverine areas.
For effective service delivery, the Commissioner stated that the Bureau had renovated 14 Fire Fighting trucks, two water tankers and four Toyota Corolla Cars at the cost of N21 Million approved by the State Government, even as he explained that the State Government also approved the sum of N49 Million to purchase firefighting equipment and accessories.
He stated that the sum of N11, 020, 000 was approved for the construction of Water Hydrant/borehole at the State Fire Service Headquarters, Old Secretariat, Asaba, which had been executed, saying with the execution of this project, the Asaba Fire Service office no longer rely on Private borehole owners for water as was the case before 2017 and that this had assisted the Command to respond promptly to emergency fire calls and even at odd hours.
The Commissioner also listed other projects executed in the Command for effective service delivery to include Renovation of Kwale, Issele-Uku, Agbor and Ogwashi-Uku Fire Service Stations; purchase of uniforms and kits for officials and men of the Delta State Fire Service Command; construction of water hydrant/borehole at the event Centre Complex, Asaba; refurbishment and repairs of fire trucks/tankers and utility vehicles.