Rwanda National Police has received four new firefighting trucks from the Ministry of Local Government (MINALOC) to further boost its readiness against fire outbreaks.
The handover ceremony was hosted at RNP Headquarters in Kacyriu yesterday, where a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between MIINALOC and Police.
The objective of the MoU is to endorse use and management of the firefighting trucks by RNP on behalf of districts – and they will be deployed in each of the four provinces to offer rapid response to any fire outbreaks.
“Between 2012 and 2014, Rwanda lost approximately Rwf 5 billion due to fires that ravaged buildings and properties throughout the country. We enhanced our capacities and ensured that we are equipped with skills and equipment to combat such fires - and we have been successful. The new trucks will boost our efforts to extinguish fires wherever they may occur,” Inspector General of Police, Emmanuel K. Gasana, said at the ceremony.
He added that whereas most fire outbreaks are recorded within busy Kigali and it's suburbs the new trucks will enable Police to react faster to fire outbreaks in the rest of the districts.
Minister Kaboneka said that the new understanding between MINALOC and RNP will promote the already existing partnership between the two institutions and also act as a platform for future cooperation aimed at improving lives of Rwandans.
“The challenge of fire outbreak will be overcome through strategic partnerships, and it is through this realisation that MINALOC acquired the trucks and handed over to Police for operationalisation given the expertise ,experience, skills and manpower to confront fires,” he said.
“MINALOC will go further and educate the public to take precautions against harmful fires and also sensitise them about Police services that combat this challenge.”
The new fire fighting trucks will be stationed; Nyanza in southern , Rusizi in western, Musanze in northern and Rwamagana in eastern.
The RNP Fire and Rescue Brigade was inaugurated in 2000 with only one fire truck, but the department now has grown to 12 modern fire fighting trucks including Bronto sky-lift vehicle with capacity to extinguish fires of up to the 20th floor of storied buildings. Its 55-metre hydronic ladder can enable trapped people to climb down from storied buildings or lift fire fighters up to combat fires.
Police continuously offers trainings to both officers and the members of the public in order to increase their general knowledge and skills on how to avert fire outbreaks.
The force established a toll free number, 111, which citizens can call for emergency in case of a fire outbreak.