Blantyre City Council (BCC), in a bid to equip the private and public sectors with first aid and fire fighting techniques, has organised a three-day first aid and fire fighting training at its Civic Centre.
Speaking when he opened the training, BCC deputy mayor Wild Ndipo said Blantyre and other urban centres have recently seen rapid industrial growth resulting in exposure to various occupational health and safety risks; hence, the fire department’s initiative.
He said: “We have thought it wise to train these people so they are able to look after their institutions properly and that should there be any eventualities, they should use knowledge and skills gained from this training.”
In an interview, BCC chief fire officer Stanford Nanfuko, who is one of the facilitators, said the training is essential because cases of fire in Blantyre City are increasing as the city is growing.
He observed that there are so many structures being built, so many vehicles around and nearly every day, there is a fire incident in the city.
Nanfuko, responding to a question on why BCC fire brigade delays to get to fire scenes, said they are facing several challenges such as a small fleet of fire engines whose water capacity is limited, fire hydrants that are usually dry during times of fire and only one fire brigade centre at Ginnery Corner.
“Currently, we are utilising the Old Town Hall as a sub-station to be closer Blantyre central business district [CBD],” he said. n