The Bulawayo City Council has started inspecting all government buildings for fire safety, a
responsibility that it previously left to the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works.
Council chamber secretary, Sikhangele Zhou, said this during the handover of three state of the art equipment to the department of fire and ambulance services by United Kingdom based humanitarian and non-political organisation Operation Florian.
Zhou said the fire department had, during the period under review, carried out 1 559 inspections and these included government buildings, which they previously did not inspect.
“We have, during under period review, carried 1 559 inspections and these include government buildings which we ordinarily do not inspect because we believe our colleagues in the Ministry of Local Government within the Department of Public Works would have done that.
“However, we took a deliberate effort to inspect government buildings and we have advised our colleagues in the public construction division to attend to certain areas which need attention to prevent loss of life and property,” the chamber secretary said.
Zhou said the department had been able to attend to 528 fire calls during the period January to November 2022, adding there had been an increase in property and grass fires. She added that they had also conducted 488 fire awareness campaigns, since prevention of fires was better than putting them out.
“We lost a fire fighter who succumbed to burns during a tour of duty. This is indeed a sad loss to us as a brigade and council. While we are aware that firefighting is a dangerous job, continuous training will be done to minimise such as incidences,” she said.
Zhou said the ambulance division attended to 1356 calls from January to November, adding that their fleet remain inadequate with an average of five to six ambulances operational in the city at any given time.
“We encourage residents who can afford to use alternative service providers as five ambulances cannot timeously cover the whole city,” she said.
She commended Operation Florian for the equipment that it has been providing the local authority since 2012 which she said had improved patient care during the pre-hospital care process.
Operation Florian, which has been in operation for the past 10 years, assists fire and rescue services that need assistance throughout the world and is on phase nine of donating equipment and offering training to deserving countries.