The Director of Lagos State Fire Service, Rasaki Musibau and 30 other officers of the agency were on Tuesday celebrated for their selfless contribution and excellent service to the Lagos State Public Service after attaining the statutory retirement age and service years accordingly.
Delivering a keynote address at the Pull-Out/Send-Forth ceremony of the retired officers at the Headquarters of the Lagos State Fire Service, in Ikeja, the Lagos State Head of Service, Mr. Hakeem Muri-Okunola, said that the retired firefighters would be remembered for their dedication to duty and selfless attitude displayed while in active service.
According to the Head of Service, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Public Service Office, Mr. Samson Ajibade, the retired officers are key contributors to the relative peace and security of lives and property being enjoyed in different quarters across the State.
He commended the efforts by the State Fire Service as a whole in combating fire incidents across the State, urging the officers to continue to strive for excellence and not cease in contributing their quota to a Safer and Greater Lagos.
The retired Director of Fire Service in his farewell address appreciated the State government for the opportunity to rise through the ranks to become the number one fire officer in the State, saying that he had raised the bar of safety consciousness and prompt responses to emergency calls among the firefighters.
He said that though the State Fire Service is adjudged the best in the country, the officers should not be satisfied with this assessment but be desirous of surpassing its present status and benchmark itself with their counterparts in developed cities of the world.
While outlining some of his unaccomplished goals as the Director of the State Fire Service, Musibau urged his successor to pursue a Para-military salary structure for the officers, which according to him, he could not achieve due to his short stay in office.
“The position of a fire officer is a very challenging one and being the Head of the State Fire Service is even more challenging. Based on this fact, I will implore all officials of the Lagos State Fire Service to team-up with my successor and extend same courtesies accorded me to her”, the Director appealed.
Musibau, who thanked his predecessors in Office for their constant tutelage and advice, assured the new Acting Director of Fire Service of his availability to always share his wealth of experience whenever the need arises.
On his expectations from the State government going forward, Musibau advocated periodic and regular training for fire officers in order to expose them to international best practices in fire incidents management.
“I also want to advise the State government to consider a special welfare package for all firefighters in addition to the hazards allowance already in place for these officers. There is no denying the fact that the exposure of these officers to the scene of fire incidents has its toll on the health and life span every firefighter”, Musibau said.
Earlier in her welcome address, the Acting Director of the State Fire Service, Mrs. Adeseye Margaret, enjoined her colleagues who are still in the service of the State government to continue to strive for excellence, not minding the numerous challenges that come with the duty of being firefighters, assuring the officers that “with hard work and perseverance, success will surely come”.