By Bukar Bolori
Jets and Helicopters are now to be deployed to combat raging infernos in the country as the Federal Fire Service (FFS) and the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) both agreed to deploy their tactical expertise in suppressing and stemming the tide of incessant fire outbreaks in the country.
The partnership was sealed on Wednesday when the acting Controller General of the Federal Fire Service, Dr. Samson Karebo , who is bent on delivering on his mandate, led a delegation of senior firefighters on a courtesy visit to the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Oladayo Amao, at the headquarters of the Nigerian Air Force in Abuja
The FFS boss, said the the agreement is aimed at deploying aerial aircraft and other aerial resources to combat major fire outbreaks. He said these aircrafts are to be used in aerial command and control roles in fighting major fires, providing tactical coordination with commanders on the ground and other aircraft in the sky.
He explained that the move is to undo the obstacles of lack of access and proximity to affected areas , adding that it is also dangerous for firefighters to enter into some burning buildings to fight fire.
The acting CGF who expressed worry about the frequent fire disasters recorded in the country , which he said was affecting the nation’s economy negatively.
He said with him in the helm, the huge taxpayer’s funds that are annually allocated for firefighting by the federal government would be justified.
Karebo, who also promised not to only meet his obligations but to exceed expectations in the running of the affairs of the Federal Fire Service , said that highly mobile aircraft are positioned around the country to respond to all manner of fires, protect communities, public and commercial buildings as well as to support firefighters on the ground.
He said: “So it is not surprising that the Federal Fire Service is seeking to introduce new technologies against a threat that will only get worse due to climate change.
While explaining that under ideal conditions aircraft can slow a fire enough to allow ground based firefighters an opportunity to contain sections of the fire’s edge by constructing a fireline, the acting CG however noted that wrong winds or dense smoke can also make it impossible for aircraft to operate safely or effectively.
On his part, the Chief of Air Staff, promised to provide the Fire Service with all the necessary support to ensure the safety of Nigerian.
Amao, who revealed that the Nigerian Air force have adequate Aircrafts on ground stressed the need for an outright intensive training for both agencies as it relates to aerial fire fighting to boost effectiveness and an impressive result.
He said, as climate change heats up , alongside the possibility of man-made fire outbreaks, preparing ourselves for the fire storms that are sure to come is a step in the right direction.
It can be reported that to this effect, a committee has been set up to commence the processes of collaboration.