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Firefighters fault Kidero’s strategy as ineffective

The Fire Brigade Association has faulted Governor Evans Kidero strategy of dealing with fire outbreaks in the city.

Governor Kidero launched 12 mini firefighters two weeks ago in Kibera, which the association has now dismissed as ineffective and unsafe to use.

“We appreciate that the county government provided us with 12 motorcycle fire engines to be used in the slums. But we still feel the engines are not effective and also not safe to be used in some slum areas where crime is prevalent,” said Kenya National Fire Brigades Association Secretary general Francis Omolo.

“How can such a motorcycle engine fight huge fire outbreaks? The county government should provide us with the necessary modern equipment which we can use,” he added.

Mr Omolo argued that a better strategy would have been to replenish the broken down fire engines that are lying idle in garages and which have bigger capacities to deal with fire outbreaks.

Currently, the city only has two operating fire engines and five others that need repair.

In the recent fire in Gikomba market, the county fire fighters where assisted by private companies to extinguish the blaze that destroyed property worth millions.

Mr Omolo claimed that fire fighters are never given any formal training by the government.

“There is need to recruit new fire fighters and enroll them in a fire academy where they can be trained on how to handle fire. The last time we had such recruitments was in 1987. Since then we have not had trained personnel in this department. Our fire fighters learn from experience,” he said

Mr Omolo said Governor Kidero promised to purchase seven fire engines but has never given indication of when they will be bought.

“We want to be kept informed in matters of firefighting. Nairobi needs to be supplied with Modern firefighting equipment,” said Mr Omolo.

Nairobi has only two fire stations. One was built in 1906 along Tom Mboya Street and the other is located in Industrial area.

The county is set to build two new fire stations through Sh1.131 billion Belgium government financing.