THE Bulawayo Fire Brigade has announced plans to construct two more fire stations to better manage emergencies in the city and surrounding local authorities without fire-fighting equipment.
BY TALENT GUMPO
The city has four fire stations.
Speaking at a train the trainer workshop hosted by visiting United Kingdom-based humanitarian organisation, Operation Florian at the Famona Fire Station, senior divisional officer, Edward Officer said lack of adequate equipment continued to pose danger for residents.
“Lack of adequate fire equipment means people are at risk from fire and disasters, at the moment we still need a lot of equipment. We only have four fire stations around the city. At least, if we can have six fire stations and that also calls for additional fire stations,” he said.
Officer applauded Operation Florian for donating equipment and training firemen, saying the city’s fire department has improved significantly over the past seven years.
“Incidences of fire outbreaks have reduced significantly because of the programmes we have working on together with Operation Florian,” he said.
Operation Florian project adviser, Shephard Ndlovu, said the Bulawayo Fire Brigade had been instrumental in seeking relief for other local authorities to improve response to disaster management all over the country.
“Although Bulawayo Fire Brigage has received some help, they have also asked us to assist other fire departments, so we have Beitbridge, Gweru, Kwekwe, Kadoma, Marondera and Masvingo receiving fire engines and equipment. This means that Bulawayo can now concentrate on areas within the city and stop responding to disaster calls from far cities,” he said.
Ndlovu said, at the moment, the city had adequate response although plans to put up two more fire stations were positive.
Ndlovu also said they were also planning to introduce a fire fighting course in institutions of higher learning.
Operation Florian has been in partnership with Bulawayo for eight years. The organisation assists in fire and rescue services and ambulance services throughout the world.
“There is a committee, which is made up of Bulawayo service personnel and the National University of Science and Technology, which is exploring the idea of how they can develop a course that addresses fire issues in Zimbabwe. They have also made plans to register the school with the Higher Education ministry to provide that recognition as well,” Ndlovu said.