December 2, 2014 – Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola on Tuesday handed over 32 customized and purpose-built fire- fighting trucks and two aerial telescopic and turntable ladder to the Lagos State Fire Fighting Service.
Speaking at the event, Fashola said the trucks were financed through a loan from EXIM Bank in the US and that the equipment would have been built in Nigeria if there was stable power supply.
He said the next thing uppermost in his heart remains the Lagos State Fire Academy where he said those desirous of pursuing a career in fire- fighting would be trained.
Fashola who did not state the cost of procuring the trucks called on Nigerians not to hesitate to fire policy adding that it will help to mitigate effects of fire disasters adding that Nigerians must learn to assist officials of the fire service to get to scene of the incident on time.
“I also want to appeal that as I hope we do not have any need for this vehicles, when the need for them arise, I want to appeal to us to give way and grant access to these our highly trained and well equipped firefighting personnel. If we block access to where the fire is, we get in the way of their jobs.
“We want to appeal that whenever this happens; we have to give way to them and assist them to get to the scene of the incident. In every local government, we have at least 10 fire service emergency responders that we have trained. Across Lagos, there are 570 young men and women working with Lagos State Emergency Management Agency as first responders.”
Earlier in his speech, Commissioner for Home Affairs and Culture, Hon. Oyinlomo Danmole said the process to procure the equipment dates back to 2011 when the Lagos State Government and WS Darley and Company of Itasca Illinois, United States, signed a contract.
He said the contract entails provision for comprehensive training of the fire service men in Lagos to ensure optimal use and maintenance of the fire trucks.
“In furtherance of this maintenance purpose, the manufacturer also build two fully equipped and multi-purpose workshop on the wheel which can function for 24 hours to effect repairs on any of the fire trucks”, he said.
He said that the painstaking efforts which necessitated choosing the best components in terms of chassis, funnel, exhaust and other components that are compatible with fuel and oil in Nigeria accounted for delay in assembly and final shipping of the trucks to Nigeria.
He explained that experts including officials of the state fire service carried out several inspection at the manufacturer’s plants in USA to ensure all the fire equipment not only conform to latest design and technology but also that they were built to the specification of the state with the input of local maintenance engineers.