The Ghana National Fire Service new Chief Fire Officer (GNFS), Edwin Ekow Blankson, was on Friday inducted into office at a ceremony in Accra, where he pledged to exert all effort in his service to the country.
He said he would bring his 30-year experience in the GNFS aboard to transform the service into a world class, one that is capable of providing efficient emergency response and fire protection services.
CFO Blankson, the 13th CFO of the GNFS, was appointed by President Nana Akufo-Addo on September 7, 2017 after his predecessor, CFO Dr Albert Brown Gaisie retired. He was confirmed in January this year.
Prior to this appointment, the 57- year- old, was the Director of Operations of the service after servicing in various offices, both regional and national, since he was enlisted on December 1, 1989.
At the ceremony, the CFO swore the vows of service administered by the GNFS chaplain, Rev DOIII Erzoah Amihere and received symbols of office including a ring, Bible and an axe, which symbolised loyalty, wisdom and strength.
The Minister of the Interior, Mr Ambrose Dery, who presented the CFO to the chaplain for the vows of office, also presented him a ceiling hook, another symbol of office.
Delivering an address, CFO Blankson categorised his vision into five; human resource capacity building, acquisition of modern equipment, personnel welfare, professionalism and occupational health and safety.
On capacity building, he said the service had already signed memoranda of understanding (MoU) with the Forensic Science Department of the University of Cape Coast, University of Energy and Natural Resources to upgrade skills of personnel in fire investigation and disaster management.
He said the GNFS was seeking private partnership to assist the service to build a modern Fire Service college to serve Ghana and the sub region as well as upgrade facilities at the service’s academy.
CFO Blankson announced efforts to procure two hydraulic platforms and protective clothing to boost safe firefighting, establish fire stations and clinics in each region, as well as launch its five-year strategic plan.
Promising not to disappoint President Akufo-Addo for the appointment, he called for support from personnel of the service and his associates outside the service to enable him to succeed.
Delivering the sermon titled ‘Called to serve’, Rev DOIII Amihere asked Mr Blankson to be guided by his Christian principles and be selfless in service. He advised GNFS personnel to eschew sycophancy and support their CFO.
CFO Blankson, who hails from Cape Coast in the Central Region, is an alumnus of the University of Cape Coast, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree and Diploma in Education.
Aside several professional qualifications, he holds a graduate certificate and Diploma in Management from the Australian Institute of Business and an MBA from the same institution.
Among dignitaries who graced the occasion were Central Regional Minister, Kwamina Duncan, Osabarima Kwesi Atta II, and Paramount Chief of Oguaa traditional area and representatives of sister security agencies.