Press Releases of Mon, 25 Jul 20161
Ghana National Fire Service clarifies issues
1. The Ghana National Fire Service has noted the issues and concerns raised and discussed on Adom FM’s “FABEWOSO” segment of the Morning Show on Monday July 18, 2016 and Wednesday July 20, 2016.
2. The Service appreciates the efforts to bring to the fore, difficulties and challenges facing the Service for public attention. However, there were certain inaccuracies in the issues raised that need to be clarified.
3. The issues include:
a. Fuel Indebtedness: The Command of the Service can confidently say that it has settled all fuel indebtedness to Fuel Stations. A total amount of Five Hundred Thousand, Three Hundred and Seven Ghana Cedis, Twenty-four Pesewas (GHC500, 307.24) has been paid to clear all outstanding fuel indebtedness as at December, 2015. As at the end of March 2016, an additional amount of Five Hundred and Nine Thousand Four Hundred and Eleven Ghana Cedis and Fifty Four Pesewas (GHC509,411.54) was paid for fuel indebtedness.
b. Welfare Dues: Welfare dues of GHC15.00 is paid by all Officers of the Service and is managed by Welfare Fund Executives elected by Officers themselves. Command of the Service, therefore has nothing to do with the Welfare Fund, even though an Audited Account is periodically submitted as spelt out in the constitution. There is a Governing Council which is made up of representatives from the Regions. Decisions taken by the Council is disseminated to Officers throughout the Country by the representatives.
c. Provident Fund: Deductions started in 2013 after the Welfare Executives had toured the Country with the managers of the Fund, CDH Financial Holdings Limited, to make presentations on the benefits to Officers.
Officers were given the option to either join or opt out as a result of which some Officers from Ashanti Region opted out.
d. SIC Life Policy Deductions: Thirty Ghana Cedis (GHC30.00) is deducted from personnel’s salary as Life Insurance for all Officers to cushion fire fighters who sustain injuries or lose their lives in the line of duty. It started from 2001 with an initial deduction of Ten Ghana Cedis (GHC10.00).
e. Rent Allowance: Since the inception of the Ghana National Fire Service in 1963, never has any personnel been paid Rent Allowance. The assertion that personnel are being denied Rent Allowance is not true and unsubstantiated.
It is now that frantic efforts are being made to secure this allowance for personnel. Command of the Service is therefore awaiting a response from the Fair Wages Commission for payment of the allowance after all proposals regarding the subject matter is discussed. The Conditions of Service of the Ghana National Fire Service is currently being reviewed.
f. Resignations: Since January 2016, Forty-Two (42) Officers (Senior and Junior) have separated from the Service through deaths (12), dismissal (5), voluntary retirement (4), compulsory retirement (20) and resignation (1).
g. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): Every Fire Tender has a set of PPEs to be used by firefighters. Although this may not be adequate, the Command and Government are frantically making efforts to get more PPEs for personnel.
h. Promotions: Since 2014 a total of Four Thousand, Nine Hundred and Ninety-Eight (4998) Junior Officers have been promoted out of a total of Five Thousand, Eight Hundred and Sixty-Two (5862). Additionally the Fire Service Council has approved the promotion of One Thousand, Five Hundred (1,500) Junior Officers who sat for the 2016 promotion exams effective 1st August, 2016.
Furthermore, the Council has approved of the Promotion Interview for Senior Officers to commence in September, 2016 and those that have been on their ranks for four (4) years and above shall be eligible to participate.
i. Transfers: Transfers in the Service are done on the basis of need, promotions which go with higher responsibilities, skill, experience, and number of years spent at a Station.
No one is transferred on the basis of airing his or her view on issues. The issue of the Nkawkaw incident which was cited as an example is of no factual basis. The Officer has been transferred to the Fire Academy and Training School as an Instructor based his proficiency. However, he had worked continually in the Eastern Region for 25-years.
j. Lack of Uniforms: On 11th June, 2015 the Service distributed the following uniforms to the Regions:
• Camouflage Uniform - 7.071 sets
• Camouflage T-Shirt - 7,071 pieces
• Camouflage Boot - 7.071 pairs
• Woolen Beret - 2,139 pieces
• White Shirt - 1,622 pieces
Find attached as Appendix “A” for additional information.
The Service has in this year 2016 taken delivery and paid for different types of uniform materials for distribution to the Regions as indicated by “Appendix B” attached.
k. Lack of Foam Compound: The Service has taken delivery of adequate foam concentrate for our operations. In June 2016 a total of One Thousand (1,000) drums of the foam concentrate have been acquired and duly released to the Regions.
l. Firefighting Allowance: Such a facility does not exist in our Conditions of Service.
m. The Ghana National Fire Service appreciates the interest shown by individuals and groups in its efforts to promote fire safety and therefore welcomes legitimate criticism.
The Service would however, recommend to the media, social commentators and other individuals who have concerns over issues relating to the Service to kindly approach the Service Command and seek clarification on issues of concern before airing them out. This will promote a balanced reportage of issues concerning the Service.