The Fire and Rescue Brigade at Rwanda National Police yesterday offered basic skills in fire fighting to 405 members of local night patrol, also known as irondo as part of the activities marking the police week.
Those trained operate in the sectors of Gikondo, Kagarama and Gatenga of Kicukiro District. They were also tutored on enhancing community involvement in crime prevention and reporting.
The exercise was presided over by Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Jean Baptiste Seminega the Commanding Officer of Fire and Rescue Brigade along with Superintendent of Police (SP) Emmanuel Hitayezu the spokesperson of Central Region, and the representative of Gikondo Executive Secretary Jean de Dieu Hanyurwimfura.
Following the training, ACP Seminega told the trainees that some fires result out of negligence and violating anti-fire outbreak standards.
“Some people use lay practitioners in electricity connectivity; these people have no training and they use their common knowledge and this may lead to short-circuit, which leaves houses and occupants at risk,” ACP Seminega said.
He added that at times fire outbreaks result from used substandard electrical equipment and overloading of electric gadgets.
“Some houses have old wiring systems that make them susceptible to fires; it’s imperative that you always inspect your electricity connections as part of the preventive measures,” he told participants.
He further urged them to encourage people in their neighbourhoods to acquire and install firefighting gadgets in their homes in order to respond to likely fires.
Participants were also given basic skills on how to use fire extinguisher, water and sand to put out fire.
He, however, told them never to engage the fire when it’s out of their control and to always be quick to call the RNP fire and rescue brigade on toll-free lines 111, 112, or 0788311120 and 0788311224 for immediate response.
One of the duties of the RNP fire and rescue brigade is to respond to fire incidents, but also sensitizes all groups of people on the causes of fire outbreaks while equipping them with skills on how to use various gadgets and objects to put it out. It also inspects fire fighting readiness in public and private facilities.
On top of firefighting roles, Fire and Rescue Brigade also conducts rescue operations, like people are trapped in a building, or when someone has fallen in a manhole, as well as in times of natural disasters like floods and landslides.
At the same event, the Central region Spokesperson, SP Hitayezu tutored them on crime prevention where he said that; “For community patrols to be successful, every member of the community should be involved and he or she should embark on strong collaboration with police to build a network for collective response and prevention of crime.”
He also reminded them to always take a lead in solving family dispute, domestic and gender-based-violence, and also cooperate closely with other security organs.
“Strive to identify causes of insecurity and provide timely information to the police so that such incidents are prevented before they lead to serious consequences,” he said.
One of those that were trained, Tharcisse Utabarutse from Gikondo thanked RNP for the skilled acquired saying that they were equipped with knowledge of containing a fire and calling for quick intervention
Throughout the Police Week that started on May 16, RNP conducted several campaign that were linked to public safety and also connected about 3400 homes with solar-powered energy systems across the country, 20 health centers.
During the course of the month-long security and community development activities, Police also linked about 600 homes to clean tap water, 700 people given universal medical insurance commonly known as Mutuelle de Sante, constructed or renovated 60km of feeder road, constructed 150 toilets and 30 kitchens.
Other activities include a Rwf40 million football pitch in Gikomero Sector also in Gasabo, constriction of bridges and water channels and fighting armyworms.