Liberia News: INSUFFICIENT BUDGET CAUSES FIRE DISASTERS

Monrovia-April-2-TNR:The outgoing Deputy Director for Administration at the Liberia National Fire Service (LNFS) has attributed the numerous fire incidents in the country to insufficient budgetary allotment to the entity.

Speaking during the turning over ceremony of the incoming officials of the LNFS recently, Mr. Gabriel Nmah, Sr., revealed that in 2018, they inherited only one fire service truck from former President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf.

He added that under President Weah’s administration, they were able to procure five fire trucks along with seven operational vehicles.

Mr. Nmah openly expressed that the Fire Service didn’t receive the necessary support to function effectively under President Weah’s leadership.

He emphasized the importance of continuous support from the incoming administration to ensure the smooth operation of the LNFS.

He emphasized that while it’s not the Director’s duty to personally fund the institution, in cases of budget cuts, the Director may need to step in to provide support.

“Under the previous administration, we successfully trained over 200 firefighters,” Mr. Nmah highlighted. He added that despite some employees serving for over 15 years, many couldn’t afford to purchase land.

He urged the incoming administration to consider increasing workforce salaries to address this issue. In his closing remarks, Mr. Nmah reiterated his call for salary increments to enable employees to achieve tangible financial security.

The newly appointed Director General of the Fire Service, G. Warsuwah Barvoul, expressed optimism for the future, stating that President Boakai’s support was pivotal, and they aim to similarly uplift the LNFS.

He emphasized his commitment to elevate the institution, stating, “I have arrived with determination and with a team to propel the fire service to new heights, not to assign blame to anyone.”

The Liberia National Fire Service recently welcomed a new cohort of officials on March 22, 2024, ushering in a new era under the leadership of President Joseph Nyumah Boakai.

Among those inducted into office are, G. Warsuwah Barvoul as Director, P. Edwin Tisdell as Deputy Director for Operations, Emmanuel Kunneh Wreh Farr as Deputy Director General for Administration, and other prominent figures.

These appointments signal a pivotal moment for the Liberia National Fire Service, as the newly appointed officials aim to revitalize and improve the operations of the institution.

Historically, the Liberia National Fire Service has faced challenges, characterized by insufficient budgetary allocations and perceptions of inefficiency. However, under President Boakai’s leadership, there is optimism for positive change within the sector.

In recent years, Montserrado County has experienced numerous fire outbreaks, prompting criticism of the fire service’s response time and effectiveness. Citizens have expressed frustration with what they perceive as a lack of urgency in addressing these incidents.

The Liberia National Fire Service comprises two main divisions that include, administration, consisting of 236 personnel, and operations, with 547 individuals, totaling 783 employees according to payroll and personnel records.

The primary objective of the Liberia National Fire Service is to safeguard the lives and property of all residents, regardless of nationality.

However, some individuals present at the official induction expressed concerns about the perceived mismanagement of resources and delayed response to emergencies.

 

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