Fire Service in Nigeria was established by the Fire Service Act (law) of 1963 and since then has not been reviewed. Fire Service today in Nigeria is still the only statutory organization established by law to undertake or render services as regard to fire and its related cases. These services include fire fighting, fire prevention, search and rescue services, humanitarian services etc.
In line with meeting up with these demands, both the Federal, all thirty-six (36) states of the federation and the federal capital territory has their own Fire Service established to tackle fire and related disaster within their locality.
SOME MAJOR CHALLENGES OF ITS JOB IN NIGERIA
Officers and men of Fire Service are technically and scientifically trained to prevent fire occurrences, combat fire disasters and to render rescue and humanitarian service during emergencies, accidents and disasters. Even upon the commitment of firemen in carrying out their duty, there are obvious and inevitable challenges militating against them hence the recourse on public relationship is overcoming these challenges. Some of the challenges include;
a. The expensive nature of running Fire Service: All the appliances, equipment and chemicals required for a successful fire fighting. To get a well built fire engine will cost not less than 50 million naria. This amount can be used to comfortably get more than ten (10) patrol vans for the police or any other paramilitary organization. With this situation, government is not finding it too easy to shouldering the responsibilities of the Fire Service alone hence the need to relate with the public for assistance.
b. Lack of adequate capacity: Fire Service in Nigeria has fewer Fire Stations and less personnel when compare with other uniform bodies in Nigeria. Comparatively, it is evidently impossible for the service to cope with the challenges of combating all the markets, industrial, residential, filling stations, petroleum tankers, cars fires in the stations.
c. Poor Infrastructure: One of the most effective and available fire extinguishing agents is water. Fire hydrants are suppose to be installed along major streets, residential and industrial estates, factories, markets, private and public institutions etc. These fire hydrants should be powered and charged with water from the water cooperation. This will enable Fire Service men to travel less in getting water to combat fire disasters. The unavailability of these infrastructures today has made fire fighting more stressful.
d. Poor Road Network/ Traffic problems: Once fire starts, it takes only few minutes for the fire to spread. This demands that Firemen should get to the scene of fire within the possible shortest time. But the poor network and condition of the roads are not helping matters. The inabilities of the road users to adhere to traffic rule of given way to fire engines during emergencies are not helping matters. The delay cause by this situation enables the fire disaster to gain more ground and damage more lives and properties before the arrival of the Firemen.
e. Poor Security/Safety Attitude of the public: An average Nigerian sees preventive attitude as cowardice. Rather they in their carelessness and foolishness allow disaster to happen for them to show their bravely. This has been observer as the reason why some people store fuel in their residential/business house, light candle while absent or sleeping, keep combustible material and sticks of half smoked cigarette anywhere, refuse to get fire preventive knowledge, procure and install fire extinguishers in our residential and business places etc.
MORE LECTURES ON THE WAY!!!!!!!