May 4: a day to remember Firefighters

Accra, May 4, GNA - International Firefighters Day (IFFD) is marked on May 4 each year to say thank you to those who dedicate their lives to protect others and property.

It is a time to remember those who had fallen in their course of duty, show support to those who worked year round to ensure the safety of communities and nations from fire disaster.

According to the world marks the Day by wearing and displaying blue and red ribbons pinned together or by participating in a memorial or recognition event, to show gratitude to firefighters everywhere.

The Day was instituted after a proposal was emailed across the world on January 4, 1999, after the death of five firefighters in tragic circumstances in a bush fire in Australia.

The Ghana National Fire Service posted on its Facebook page; "international Firefighters Day. Congratulations to all firefighters across the globe, and may the souls of the fallen heroes rest in peace.

We are still the bravest!”

The Service is established as an agency under the Ministry of the Interior, under Act 219, to extinguish fires and provide humanitarian services and re-established by Act 537 in 1997 with a broad objective of prevention and management of undesired fires and other related matters.

The mandate include; inspection of high rise and commercial buildings equipped with the necessary fire engineering, organize and educate the public on the hazards of fire, road traffic extrication and other related matters.

Before the establishment of the Service, firefighting was controlled by traditional rulers using the Asafo Companies to combat all kinds of fires, especially bush fires.

The Service has over 18,000 employees and headed by Chief Fire Officer Edwin E. Blankson.

Data available to the Ghana News Agency indicated that Ghana National Fire Service attended to a total of 5,966 fire incidents from January to December 2020, representing 4.9 per cent increase of what was recorded for same period in 2019.

Last year, four fire personnel, all males, lost their lives in line of duty, the Ghana News Agency gathered.