A total of 170 lives were saved in 268 fire incidents recorded in Borno, in 2020, the State Director of Fire Service, Umaru Adamu Warabe has said.
Warabe also said that property worth N14.2 billion was also saved within the period under review.
“We however, lost 56 lives and property worth N4.1 billion in 2020,’’ the director said.
He lauded the state government for providing the service with sufficient firefighting trucks numbering over 40 and stressed the need to provide kits such as breathing apparatus to enhance its operations.
“We are also in urgent need of additional personnel because the last time there was recruitment in the fire service was in 1989.
“At present, we have less than 100 staff and many will be retiring this year; if there is no recruitment up to 2024, the service will be left with only two staff.
“At present we have only 10 drivers for our trucks and nine of them are ad-hoc staff,” the director said.
He urged government to look into the welfare of fire fighters, saying at present, their hazard allowance was N50 monthly while shifting allowance was just N17 and half per cent of basic salary.
“I also want to appeal to North East Development Commission intervening in various sectors in frontline states not to forget the fire service,” he said.
The director however, decried the lack of respect for fire vehicles on emergency missions by motorists in Borno, particularly tricycles.
He also lamented about the challenge of narrow roads in some wards due to inappropriate drainages and soak-away.
“We also have issues with short electric poles and trucks barriers in some wards which prevent our vehicles from entering such places during fire outbreak,” Warabe said.
He called for change of altitude from the tricycle operators and reiterated the commitment of the service to do its best.