The Liberia National Fire Service (LNFS) over the weekend reopened its Gardnersville station to the public, naming it in honor of the late Sergeant Francis Sewon who lost his life some years back while on duty at the Waterside fire incident.
The reopening ceremony was a moment of joy as residents of the Stephen Tolbert Estate, Chicken Soup Factory and LPRC communities, among others, praised the Fire Chief Col. Alex Dickson for his timely intervention in reopening the fire service station in their area.
Giving a reflection on the incident involving Sgt. Sewon, Col. Dickson says in 2012, they were on the football field when a call was made to report a fire incident.
Col. Dickson recalls that Sgt. Sewon was part of the men that were taken to the Waterside fire scene, saying the building collapsed at about 8:00 PM while the fire fighters were trying to extinguish the fire.
He recalls that the three story building fell on five of the fire fighters, three of whom he says were recused while two victims in persons of Col. Wesley and Sergeant Francis Sewon left in the fire,
“For all those years I been in the fire service, I say to myself those names can never be forgotten about. And to the family of Francis, we have come to tell you today that your child worked for the Government of Liberia and his name will forever remain as long as Fire Service is in the country,” says Col. Dickson.
In addition to reopening the fire station, Col. Dickson says they are also introducing a new program that residents within Somalia Drive can start to follow in order to get easy access to the fire station in times of fire disaster.
The Chief Executive Officer of the RoviaGate Technology Oliver W. Klark says he met Col. Dickson some years back and they had a discussion on how to partner with LNFS in terms of giving easy access to the people of Liberia in times of disaster.
“One of the things we talked about – and that has been a major challenge they have had, is being able to decentralize. They have some logistics as challenged as they are, but they are all saturated at the central location in Monrovia,” Mr. Klark says.
Through the vision of Col. Dickson, Mr. Klark notes that his company has partnered with the Fire Service to help empower them financially and give technological assistance aimed at decentralizing fire services across the country.
Mr. Klark discloses that his company named “My Watchman” has committed to the fire service over the next months, US$27,000 dollars that will be given in cash and technology.
He explains that they have developed an application which those who have access to it can give notification to the company’s commend center regarding critical issues like fire, medical, domestic violence or rape by just checking on the app.
Once they confirm that there is an incident, Mr. Klark discloses that they will push that emergency electronically to the nearby fire service station, police station or the nearest ambulance.
Speaking on behalf of the late Sgt. Francis Sewon’s family, the elder brother TheophilusSewon extends the family’s thanks and appreciation to the Government of Liberia through the LNFS and notes that they will forever remain grateful for the level of honor given their late brother and son.
Representing the elders of District #12 in Montserrado County, OldmanFallah thanks the Director of LNFS and his team, assuring that those assigned at the Francis Sewon Memorial Fire Service Station will not regret being in Gardnersville.
He notes that growing up in his home town in Lofa county, they were thought how to treat government officials in order to make them feel comfortable and flexible in carrying out their duties.
By Ben P. Wesee–Edited by Winston W. Parley