Fire in The Salon

The way we have lambasted some of the service providers in this country unabatedly has become a phenomenon that is here to stay. The Public Utilities Commission, Energy Commission et al have been set up, not as autonomous units but part of the government apparatus so what do you expect? The heads of these commissions know where their bread is buttered.

But then it beg the question what happens to the people these commissions are supposed to have their interest at heart and serve? But that is a topic for another day.

This is the same for some of the public services like the police, prisons and fire service. Governments of the day have come to realize the importance of these services and tried to augment and make better not only their conditions of service but also improve working equipment.

With response services, fire service has new fire tenders whilst new ambulances have also been provided for the ambulance service and as much as possible various mobile clinics for some hospitals.

Where am I heading it with all this harangue?

I witnessed a fire outbreak in Tamale recently. It was a hair dressing salon that burnt down. The salon, as usual, was not the only shop in that particular spot and location and there was a chance the fire could spread very quickly to the other shops and gradually prove more dangerous as it spread.

The first observation I picked up from the fire was that Ghanaians have now become more discerning and responsible, maybe up here in the hinterland. Whilst some onlookers tried to help put out the fire with sand and gutter water, some witnesses quickly whipped out their phones and dialled 192, the emergency short code for the fire service. I have witnessed and seen reports of fire outbreaks in Accra and instead of calling the fire service, witnesses have whipped out phones rather to take pictures for social media, as if to prove that they were also present during the fire raid.

Or they will rather call popular radio stations instead.

Typical Ghana, for a long time the number was not picked but when it was, a fire tender was at the location in under ten minutes. Onlookers were very impressed.

And oh yes! There was water in the fire tender. Lol!

The other observation I made was that it is important that we teach the population how to deal and control fires. When the shop began to burn, some boys who were around tried to help put it out by trying to get inside the shop by breaking down the door (glass door protected by a metal mesh gate) which proved unsuccessful. With all the chemicals exploding and all the gases from tense chemicals floating around, it would have been a bad idea.

Furthermore when the fire got worse and they realised they could not put it out, they should have tried doing damage control so that the fire will not spread to the other shops and prove more dangerous.

If only they knew how to deal with the various kinds of fires, they would understand what sort of fire they were dealing with and act accordingly. This is why public education should be intensified.

But then this comes back to my last article on reading. Do we need the government to organise programs and workshops so that we can learn about fires and the dangers associated with it? Now as we head into the dry harmattan season, any dry thing can easily be combustible and the hot sun reflecting on glass can even start a bush fire or any such fires anywhere.

It is high time we learn how to deal with fires, and prevention is half of dealing too.

We should also have all the emergency numbers committed to memory so we know how to easily access help when the need arises.

Ghanaians have not lost their sense of comradeship and sympathy for our fellow beings. Somebody actually suggested that a silver collection be done there and then for the unfortunate owner of the burnt out salon but that idea was quashed. I was intrigued that it even crossed the person’s mind at a moment like that

It takes just one person to make a difference.

Like I always say, it begins with YOU!

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2 Responses to “Fire in The Salon”

  1. hmmmm…very true. i din even know the emergency numbers worked.

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