Four hundred and forty-three officer cadets, 263 males and 180 females, were commissioned into the officer corps of thec yesterday at the Fire Academy and Training School in James Town, Accra.
Officership and work ethics, corporate image building, staff duties and administrative procedures, fire sciences, fire safety, and operational fire were among the topics covered by the cadets, code-named Intake 22.
The reviewing officer, Vice-President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, commended the GNFS for being very innovative in their efforts to ensure that the service offered rescue, evacuation, and fire protection and management services to Ghanaians.
He also expressed gratitude to the personnel for foregoing the comforts of civilian life, stepping up, and proudly wearing the firefighter uniform, saying, “thank you for the risks you have accepted and the sacrifices you will make because you have chosen to serve in this noble service.”
As part of the ceremony, the newly commissioned officers marched guests and dignitaries, including the Minister of the Interior, Ambrose Dery; the Chairman of the Fire Service Council, Kwame Anyimadu-Antwi; and the Member of Parliament (MP) for Odododiodio, Nii Lante Vanderpuye, to music from the Fire Service Band.
Family and friends of the graduating officers were also present.
The deserving graduating officers were recognized for their achievements, with Darling Naa Norkor Yeboah receiving the Overall Officer Cadet award.
Nathaniel Twum Ashong was named Overall Best Officer Cadet in Academics, while Kenneth Agbavor, who also served as parade commander for the ceremony, was named Best Officer Cadet in Foot Drill.
The Commandant’s Award was given to Officer Cadet Vera Awinbono Ananga.
While emphasizing the importance of safety in our daily lives and the role of the fire service in people’s daily activities, Vice-President Bawumia stated that the fire service would focus on promoting fire safety, protecting people and property from fires, rescuing people from road traffic accidents and entrapment from heights and depths, and dealing with other emergencies.
He assured that the government would continue to equip various security agencies, including the GNFS, to carry out their responsibilities.
To demonstrate this, he announced that the government had provided two-story dormitory blocks, a single-story dining hall, and a three-story classroom block at the soon-to-be-opened Fire Academy and Training School.
The Vice-President also stated that plans were underway to deliver additional equipment, such as fire engines and rapid intervention vehicles, to the service next year.
“Government is keen on the human resource and developmental leadership of the fire service and would continue to provide personnel, training, necessary equipment and other logistical support to make the service more effective in delivering fire and rescue services to the people. “The government has already approved the recruitment of 2,000 personnel into the service to supplement its manpower strength, and these graduating cadets are included in that number,” he said.
He also challenged the graduating officers to use their expertise to address some of the most pressing safety issues, such as people being trapped and burned to death in their own homes, saying, “your values as a fire service officer and your personal values should inspire you to help people in need of your services.”