The Ghana National Fire Service recorded a total of 656,591 prank calls from the public in 2023.
The incidents, which overstretched the operations of the Service, happened between January and November 2023.
This was revealed at the Thanksgiving Service of the Service’s 60th Anniversary Celebration, where senior officers who just retired were awarded for their selfless contributions to the Service.
Mr. Julius Kuunuor, Chief Fire Officer (CFO), said the prank calls had put the rescuers’ lives in danger and created room for wastage of fuel.
“When we engage in prank calls, we put incident responders at risk and waste fuel as well,” he said.
Mr. Kuunuor urged the public to desist from such practices because the Service would not entertain such deviant behaviors in 2024 and beyond.
Fire outbreaks also reduced by 4.92 percent for the first eleven months of 2023, with 5256 incidents recorded as compared to 5,530 incidents recorded in the same period in 2022.
The Chief Fire Officer attributed the reduction to the extensive Public Fire Safety Education carried out nationwide.
“Through the timely intervention of the Service, property worth millions of cedis was salvaged,” he said.
The Service intends to build clinics in all the regions and will start the construction of a Fire Trauma Hospital to provide adequate healthcare for personnel and the public this year.
It is in the process of signing a Memorandum of Understanding with some universities to train Fire personnel in the relevant fields from undergraduate to postgraduate programs.
The University of Cape Coast, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA), and the University of Energy and Natural Resources are being engaged for the training.
“The Service, in collaboration with the Government, is in the process of procuring Fire Appliances and Equipment, including Dual Purpose Tenders, Water Tankers, Rapid Intervention Vehicles, and Utility Vehicles and Command Vehicles in 2024,” Mr. Kuunuor said.
The new appliances will replace the obsolete fire appliances at the Fire Stations and also ensure the opening of more Fire Stations to improve response time.