He said, but for the prompt intervention of the Service at getting to fire scenes and dealing with the situation effectively, many lives and properties would have been lost, hence the commendation for their sacrifices.
Dr Letsa was speaking at a ceremony to commemorate this year’s International Firefighters Day (IFFD) on the theme: “Valuing the collective sacrifices of fire fighters.”
The Minister implored the men and women of the Service not to relent in their efforts but continue with the good work to save life and property saying, “we appreciate what you do.”
He charged the personnel to always remember to strictly adhere to the protocols of the Service when discharging their duties.
Assistant Chief Fire Officer One (ACFO 1), Mr Joy Ameyibor Ayim, Volta Regional Commander, GNFS, said the Day was instituted to create awareness about the sacrifices firefighters make in saving lives and properties.
It was also to create awareness on the need to take precautions to prevent outbreaks, he said noting that fire men and women went through numerous dangers to respond to emergencies.
ACFO1 Ameyibor Ayim said some personnel sustained vary degree of injuries, including burns while some also inhaled toxic fumes during firefighting and this put their lives at risk.
The Commander called on the Municipal and District Assemblies to establish bushfire control sub-committees in accordance with the PNDC Law 229 Control and Prevention of Bushfire Act 1990 (Act 5 Subsection 2).
Compliance with this Act, he said was necessary in preventing fire outbreaks because the Act stated that “there shall be a bushfire Control Sub-committee established at the Assemblies”
Mr Ameyibor Ayim asked the assemblies to support fire education programmes, training of fire volunteers and help establish more fire stations and posts to deal with fire situations effectively and timely.
The Commander said inadequate logistics such as pickups and motorbikes remained a great challenge impeding the smooth operations of the Service and appealed to benevolent organisations, philanthropists and the public for support.
In exhortation, Reverend DOIII, Dickson Asante, the Regional Chaplain, entreated the personnel to be committed, put their trust in God and should not conform to the values of this world.
The Command also donated some assorted items to the cured leper’s village to put smiles on the faces of the people.
The items included bags of rice, cooking oil, crate of eggs, can fish, soap, toiletries.
The event also saw a wreath laying in honour of the fallen heroes. The Regional Minister and Commander of the GNFS laid on behalf of the Government and GNFS, respectively.
Lieutenant Colonel, Edward Sarpong Appiah, Commanding Officer, 66 Artillery Regiment laid on behalf of Service Commanders while DOIII Asante laid on behalf of the clergy.