The Calabar Atakpa Lions Club International has trained no fewer than 20 drivers of the Fire Service Department in Calabar on quick response to curbing fire outbreaks in the state and how to operate modern fire facilities.
The one day training was held on Wednesday at the Fire Service office in Calabar.
Speaking, the President of the Club, Mrs Sylvia Eyamba-Osadede, said that the Club had noticed over time that the Fire Service Department was lacking in fighting cases of fire disaster in the state.
According to her, they also noticed that some of the drivers had not undergone constant re-training to keep them abreast on how to operate modern fire equipment.
“Some of the drivers are not equipped on how to operate modern fire vehicles and their equipment; including moving of the vehicle to disaster ground.
“Some of the vehicles in this compound have not been moved since 2016 because the drivers have not been properly trained to move them.
“As a humanitarian organisation, we have brought in a resources person who is a retired driver with the Niger Delta Development Commission Department of Fire Service to train and enlighten the drivers on what to do,” she said.
She added that the training became necessary because the dry season which is always associated fire outbreaks was drawing closer.
Capt. Remi Etta, who is the Zone 4A Chairperson of Lions Club District 404A2, said that the drivers were having maintenance challenge, hence they ought to be properly trained and supported.
Etta said that it was important for the state government to place the drivers on recurrent training, either once in six months or once a year.
“The drivers have to engage this equipment regularly. Once you don’t engage an equipment or you leave it fallow, it will definitely go bad. Once you activate a machine, it should be designed to be used regularly.
“So, once in a while they are supposed to drive the vehicle around, pressurise the water inside for at least once in a week to make sure the adrolic lines and oxygen are okay,” he said.
The resource person, Mr Inyang Ekeng, told the drivers that their role was the most essential in a Fire Service Department.
Ekeng, who conducted the drivers round the vehicles, tutored them on key operational capacity of the equipment.
He added that most of the equipment were already faulty due to non maintenance and use.
A Trustee of the Club, Mr Ekpenyong Ekeng, urged the drivers to be self motivated in the line of duty in order to bring out the best in them.
Responding on behalf of the drivers, Mrs Elizabeth Ironbar, the Divisional Commander of Fire Service, thanked the Club for training the drivers on modern ways to handle the operational vehicles and equipment.