“Frequent fire outbreaks, as well as their resultant damage to properties and sometimes precious lives in the country, are due to lack of firefighting logistics. We, therefore, need to make sure that we provide adequate logistics for the Liberia National Fire Service (LNFS) to do their job,” said Rep. Lawrence Morris of Montserrado District 1.
Speaking at a program marking the 2018 International Firefighters’ Day at the Barclay Training Center in Monrovia on May 5, Rep. Lawrence quoted a report of a fire incident that killed eleven people and resulted in the destruction of 44 homes, rendering at least 500 families homeless in less than five months in the country.
Rep. Morris said reports of the tragic incident, which he quoted from the LNFS, is alarming and unacceptable and could be curtailed if the government and the international community provide support to the LNFS.
Addressing an array of government officials, including President George M. Weah and a large number of firefighters, Rep. Morris said the LNFS, which was established in 1963, still suffers from the lack of necessary logistics to prevent loss of lives and properties.
Rep. Morris said inadequate support to the LNFS, of which about 85% goes to personnel, is hindering the ability of the entity to procure the necessary tools.
“Fifty-five years after the establishment of the Liberia National Fire Service, in the peak of the information age with Facebook, Instagram and Google, we still have an inadequate fire service department in the country,” he said.
“There is a need for the Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation, the Liberia Electricity Corporation, the Ministry of Public Works and the LNFS to coordinate efforts that could help prevent fire disasters,” Rep. Morris said.
He called on the country’s development partners to come to the aid of the LNFS, so that the institution can respond adequately to fire incidents and thus save lives and properties.
The International Firefighters’ Day (IFFD) is observed on May 4. It was introduced after proposals were emailed across the world on January 4, 1999, due to the deaths of five firefighters in tragic circumstances in a bush fire in Australia.