By Bethanie Harriman – EMTV, Lae
Fire service officials in Goroka have expressed the need to have an active Provincial Building Board to perform building regulatory duties.
Fire Station Commander, Ford Nenaya highlighted building ‘access problems’ that fire fighters experience when attempting to fight fires. This is as; fire fighters are faced with extreme difficulties when combating fires in buildings that have windows and doors barricaded by iron bars.
In the fire that consumed an entire arcade in Goroka, five months ago, the Goroka fire station’s lack of equipment, logistical requirements and needed facilities, among other issues, were brought to everyone’s attention.
During that incident, fire fighters were appalled to find that hydrants were covered by cement and bitumen causing obstructions to the use of the outlets to source water.
Hydrants are an active fire protection measure and important in times of fire emergencies and need to be free from obstructions, of any kind, to enable fire fighters to actively carry out their duties.
The Goroka fire station is one of the oldest in the country and solely provides for the entire province of Eastern Highlands.
The station’s services and functions have also increased over the years to include motor vehicle accidents and road rescues.
Nenaya stated that apart from the need to upgrade facilities and purchase new fire fighting equipment, the station also needs an appropriate vehicle to attend to motor vehicle accidents, and other emergency accidents.