The state of affairs at the Liberia National Fire Service (LNFS) is appalling, as the nation’s fire service is left with only three fire fighting trucks to fight fire across the country.LNFL Acting Assistant Director for Operations, Maj. Kesselly Sumo, who made the disclosure while addressing reporters Tuesday, 17 December in his office in Monrovia, laments that out of the three trucks, two are located at the LNFS headquarters on Ashman Street, while the other, which is a tanker, is assigned in Lofa County, northern Liberia.
He says besides the lack of fire fighting trucks, the service is also faced with shortage of protective gears for officers going in the fields.Maj. Sumo points to lack of foam, a chemical required to fight fire caused by fuel oil and gasoline, indicating that it was highly unthinkable to have only one central station for the entire country.
He continues that fire fighters face difficulty in fighting fire in Monrovia because alleys the LNFS supposed to use to have access to fire scenes are blocked by construction of residential homes and other structures.
He says the hydrant in which fire trucks get water from to go to fire scenes is no longer operational, lamenting that Monrovia alone accounts for more fire outbreaks than the rest of the country.Hydrant is an upright pipe, usually in a street, connected to a water main with a valve to which a hose can be attached by a fire department.
Maj. Sumo however, says the Ministry of Public Works has assured the LNFS that it would embark on reopening alleys in Monrovia and its environs to create easy access to fire fighters to reach fire scenes.
By Emmanuel Mondaye–Editing by Jonathan Browne