GIS – 4 April, 2013: The Minister of Local Government and Outer Island, Mr Herve Aimée stated that a new Bill, namely the Mauritius Fire and Rescue Service Bill will be introduced this year in the National Assembly. He made this statement last Saturday during the Passing Out Parade of newly recruited firefighters, at the Fire Services Training Unit of the Coromandel Fire Station.
While addressing the new recruits, Minister Aimée said that firefighters will from time to time be called upon to face immense challenges to save lives, property and to protect the environment in difficult and dangerous conditions. “The protection needs of our citizens will keep evolving with more people in our society having to live and work in multi-storey buildings and crowded urban areas. We also need to address risks posed to life by floods and landslides as a result of extreme weather events such as cyclones and torrential rains, not to mention other types of disasters, which are man-made”, the Minister added.
Latest statistics indicate that the Fire Services Department has responded to more than 500 fire calls. In less than 3 months, there were 53 homes that have been totally or partially destroyed by fire and 3 persons have lost their lives while their homes were burning. In March, 4 business premises, 1 in Pailles and 3 in Port Louis were completely destroyed by fire.
The Fire Services Department conducts throughout the year regular public fire safety educational campaigns to improve awareness of citizens in fire safety and emergency preparedness. But according the Minister Aimée, there are many instances where people, for trivial reasons or through ignorance, fail to pay attention to important warnings given by the Fire Services Department and fire safety professionals.
Moreover, the Fire Services Department has acquired, early this year, a new 32-metre turntable ladder at the cost of Rs 35m, which will enhance aerial firefighting and rescue capacity during incidents in high rise buildings. Government is also planning to spend over Rs 250m in the acquisition of additional firefighting and rescue equipment during the coming years.