• Sat. May 25th, 2024

Celebration of International Firefighters Day, 2024 edition


May 10, 2024

BUJUMBURA, May 6th (ABP) – The Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of the Interior, Community Development and Public Security, Mr. André Ndayambaje proceeded on May 3, 2024, to the opening of the activities marking the celebration of the day international fire brigade under the theme: “The firefighter, professional in the service of the public”.

In his speech for the occasion, Mr. Ndayambaje recalled that Burundi is celebrating that international day for the third time and joins the international community in recognizing and honoring the sacrifices of five Australian firefighters who lost their lives following a fire in forest occurred on January 4, 1999.

According to him, the theme chosen that year aims to analyze and evaluate the capacities and technical and operational efficiency of their firefighters. It is also an opportunity to establish and evaluate the level of training and awareness of the communities that collaborate closely in emergency management. In addition, he added, that theme fits well with the situation which prevents loss of life, property and the environment because the intervention of professional firefighters makes it possible to alleviate suffering and limit damage.

                                                                                                                                                   View of the participants

Mr. Ndayambaje also pointed out that the role of firefighters is not only limited to extinguishing fires, they also intervene in emergency situations, particularly during road accidents, natural disasters, land and water rescue situations,emergency situations caused by chemical-biological substances without forgetting the roles of environmental protection.

As part of strengthening the capacities of firefighters, he reported that the government of Burundi has granted various equipment such as fire trucks, boats for maritime protection and special equipment to the general management of civil protection. and disaster management. The government of Burundi also funds specialist training abroad for officers of that structure in order to improve their performance.

For his part, the Director General of Civil Protection and Disaster Management, Mr. Anicet Nibaruta, said that the celebration of that day constitutes a strong moment for all firefighters, not only to honor the memory of the firefighters who died in the middle of a rescue action but also to recognize the sacrifices that firefighters make to save lives.

Indeed, he announced, 348 people from the managers of the Gitega markets, the Mpanda and Rumonge hospitals, the Manufacturing Company of Bujumbura, the village of Hope Burundi, the Kinju company, the BNDE headquarters and its agencies in Ngozi have so far been trained on fire prevention and fighting techniques. Alongside that, 9,804 people including 4,768 women underwent comprehensive first aid training in 2023 with active involvement of the Burundi Red Cross and 2,451 people followed the same training in the first quarter of 2024, in moment when 8 civil protection marine rescue divers reached today around 20 meters depth.

He also recalled that Burundi is celebrating that international day in a context particularly marked by the lack of adequate equipment and relief materials as well as dynamic and qualified human resources. He added that the available fire trucks are insufficient in number to meet the needs of communities facing fires. That same situation should be noted for emergency ambulances, fire equipment, engineering equipment for civil protection works, equipment for maritime rescue, equipment for the management of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear agents including those of protection, detection, sample collection and decontamination.

Note that Burundi is celebrating that day for the 3rd consecutive time at a time when the world is celebrating the 25th year.