By Bethanie Harriman – EM TV, Lae
Goroka Fire Station Commander, Ford Nenaya, has spoken out about problems being faced in the province’s fire department.
He highlighted the obstacles that continue to hinder the operations of the fire service in the Eastern Highland Province, stating that it was a struggle to fight fires without proper equipment and facilities.
“Just because of logistics we cannot do the job, so the public criticize us,” said Commander Nenaya.
These sentiments are also shared by his colleagues’ in Lae and Mt Hagen, who are all in dire need of fire-fighting equipment and an upgrade of facilities at respective fire stations.
Lae and Mt Hagen have, for the last eight months, experienced fires that have ravaged through homes, business houses and claimed lives. Total counts of 13 fires have destroyed properties in Lae, with Mt Hagen having had four fires.
With the state of fire stations being as they are, fire service men and women aren’t able to adequately deal with fire emergencies, as they should and could.
The situation is synonymous for fire stations throughout Papua New Guinea; with lack of funding to fix the aging facilities, purchase proper fire-fighting equipment and meeting logistical requirements, among other problems.
The Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill, while addressing the issue of fires in Lae said that the Fire Service will be improved. He made this statement while on an official visit to the industrial hub of the country, several days ago.
Eastern Highlands Governor, Julies Soso, has also made a commitment to improve the Fire Service in Goroka. She aims to build another fire station in North Goroka and with the growing revenue of the province, her vision to expand the province’s fire service is well and truly a step in the right direction in the road to improving and supporting PNG’s struggling fire service.