Events

Firefighters Prepare For Hurricane Season

National Fire Authority (NFA) firefighters completed a Flood and Swift Water Rescue training yesterday at the Wailoaloa Beach, Nadi.
Twenty firefighters underwent this Flood and Swift Water Rescue training. The training was carried out in preparation towards the hurricane season which begins next month.
NFA Chief Fire Officer Mr Tupou Saubulinayau said the Flood and Swift Water Rescue training was carried out in order to enhance the skills of the firefighters for the rescue operations during natural disasters such as hurricane.
"As we approach the upcoming hurricane season it is important that we are ready for such disasters in order to protect the people of this country".
Earlier this year in March NFA's Swift Water Rescue team pulled a man's body from the Seaqaqa River who drowned during the height of hurricane Tomas. NFA Rescue team in the Western division also rescued a pregnant woman during the flood in January 2009 and also evacuated several families from their flooded homes to the evacuation centres.
Meanwhile NFA officers will be at the Koroivolu Park, Nadi during the National Disaster Week which starts today.
The firefighters will conduct awareness on fire safety and will also show a rescue drill on Friday.

Fatal House Fire Claims Young Life

National Fire Authority (NFA) responded to a fire incident at Maro Road in Natadola, Sigatoka yesterday afternoon which destroyed a lean-to house and resulted in the tragic death of a one year nine month old baby boy.

The fire left three people homeless and one person dead in the corrugated iron and timber house which they were living in.

During the time of the fire incident the home owner was at the sugar cane farm cutting cane while his wife was at a neighbour's house next door. A three year old boy and one year nine-month old baby boy were in the house when the fire broke out.

The three year old boy escaped safely from the burning house however the baby boy was caught in the flames inside the house and was not able to escape. NFA's preliminary investigations suggest that the probable cause of the fire was child playing with matches and the fire may have started from the mattress.

NFA Acting Chief Executive Officer Mr Jone Koroi said: "this incident was unfortunate as yet another young life is lost because of children left unsupervised at home by their parents.

"Earlier in May this year a similar tragedy occurred in Nabua where young children were left alone at home resulting in one of child playing with matches and accidentally setting fire to the house. This incident claimed the life of a young sibling who could not escape and yet yesterday we have lost another young child who could not escape!

If such attitude by parents continue and the public, where they disregard NFA safety tips and warnings, then we will not be able to reduce the number of house fires and fire fatalities.
"NFA strongly advise parents to ensure that an adult is closely supervising their children when they are not at home! Talk to your children and teach them not to play with matches or any fire ignition source! Better still - don't leave them alone because they will do as they please without knowing the consequences!" However, should a fire occur in your home or property immediately alert the fire brigade by calling 911 and give the firefighters the best chance to save you and your property from destruction", Mr Koroi added.

NFA FPCS Signed MOU

The National Fire Authority (NFA) and Fiji Prisons and Corrections Service (FPCS) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) at the FPCS National Head Quarters at Civic house in Suva today.

The MOU was signed by the Chief Executive Officer of NFA Mr Jone Koroi and FPCS Commissioner Brigadier General Ioane Naivalurua for their respective organizations, highlighting the importance and high level commitment that both organizations have placed on this new partnership.

NFA Chief Executive Officer Mr Jone Koroi said: "this strategic partnership between NFA and FPCS reflects Government's efforts to improve public service delivery and its effectiveness to all the people in Fiji."

"NFA's Cabinet-endorsed Strategic Roadmap for Fire Safety and Mitigation in Fiji emphasizes the need to develop strategies to strengthen its capacity and service delivery in providing fire and other emergency response services around Fiji. This partnership initiative with the FPCS integrates NFA officers with volunteer firefighters in other national disaster management organizations."

"Such partnerships will enhance the delivery of NFA's fire brigade services to the people of Fiji as well as complement Government's vision for a "whole of Government" integrated approach to fire and emergency service provision," Mr Koroi said.

The major areas of cooperation and assistance that NFA and FPCS have agreed to after the signing of the MOU are as follows:

  • Training and Exchange of Technical Information for NFA and FPCS officers who are the volunteer firefighters in Naboro. Use and maintenance of firefighting equipment, fire appliances and other related matters.
  • Emergency response in Naboro area whereby both organizations will take up responsibilities as stipulated in the Memorandum of Agreement between the NFA and the FPCS.
  • In addition to this, NFA will also provide a fire appliance for use by this volunteer brigade in the Naboro Prisons Complex and greater area.

Ministry of Local Government Staff Underwent Training on Fire Safety

National Fire Authority (NFA) completed a Fire Warden training workshop with the Ministry of Local Government staff located at Fiji Football Association house at 4 Gladstone road in Suva today.

The workshop was conducted by NFA's Commercial Training Department in line with HASAW Act regulations.

NFA's Commercial Training Officer Mr Pauliasi Tuiwai said: "this course is designed to provide appointed Fire Wardens at the work place with the necessary knowledge and skills to prepare for and respond to emergency situations and to safely conduct Emergency Evacuations".

This training session enables the staff to learn basic concepts of fire safety and the use of various fire safety equipment and protection methods during a fire incident. 

"If a fire breaks out in your workplace today, would every one of your employees know what to do?  For building owners, does every tenant in your building know what to do if a fire breaks out in one section of your building?  NFA has the solution to these questions," Mr Tuiwai said. 

"We had twenty staff who took part in the firewarden workshop and they have learnt basic aspects of fire safety", Mr Tuiwai said.

NFA said that Ministry of Local Government, Urban Development, Housing and Environment is demonstrating its OHS duty-of-care obligations by arranging fire warden training for its staff.  Occupancy of a multiple storey building places greater emphasis for staff to be trained on fire safety and evacuation procedures.

"We are pleased that our line ministry has organized this Fire Warden training for its staff", Mr Tuiwai said.

"As part of the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations, workers are required to be trained to respond to a fire incident and how to use the fire safety equipment installed in their workplace such as fire extinguishers, fire alarm systems, etc," he said.

"The Ministry of Local Government, Urban Development, Housing and Environment is hereby leading by example in organizing this  important training workshop and NFA advises all the property owners including Government departments to carry out Fire Warden training for their staff to learn fire safety measures in case of a fire emergency", Mr Tuiwai added.

Fire Authority assists in Hurricane Tomas Evacuation

National Fire Authority (NFA) fire rescue crews in the Northern division were busy evacuating people from strong winds and rising flood waters from last night (Monday, 15 March 2010).

NFA Labasa fire rescue crews evacuated close to eighty people carrying out rescue operations through heavy rain downpours, rising flood waters, evacuating them to higher ground and nearby evacuation centres.   

Labasa
Rescue operations were carried out in Korowiri area, Nacula village, Wasavolu village and Bulileka village.

Taveuni
Fire fighters and volunteer fire fighters evacuated 18 patients to evacuation centres after part of the roof of Taveuni Hospital was blown off last night.

Central/Eastern Division
Off Duty officers resumed duties in all Fire Stations to boost man power for Rescue services. Sixty five officers are stationed in the Central/Eastern Division.

Levuka
Fire fighters evacuated people from Voma and Tokau village to the evacuation centres located at the nearby churches and schools.

Western Division
NFA officers are on a standby and are closely monitoring the situation in their areas.

NFA's Chief Fire Officer Mr Tupou Saubulinayau said that NFA rescue teams all around the country are available for any fire or rescue operation required by members of the public during this difficult weather conditions. NFA strongly advises members of the public to evacuate during day time and avoid as much as possible any evacuation during night falls. Under the current strong rain and windy weather conditions rescue operation at night falls becomes very difficult and highly risky for the members of the emergency services.

Please call 911 for fire rescue assistance or NFA's Suva Control Centre on phone 9925877 which is always ready 24 hours 7 days a week

URBAN HOMES MORE CARELESS WITH FIRE

According to NFA Acting Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Jone Koroi, The NFA and Government are very concerned with the recent rise in house fires effective 1 December 2009. "Of greater concern is the recent trend of structural fires over the last two months in that it is mostly located in urban areas and majority of these house fires are in residential homes", Koroi said. "I salute our rural dwellers and members of the community in remote areas for being careful in preventing unnecessary fires occurring in their homes.
NFA statistics reveal that the occupants or owners of these houses are mainly Indians and Indigenous Fijians. Approximately 50% of these fire damaged houses are insured.
"It seems that fire safety and fire prevention messages regularly communicated by the Authority in the media are not been taken seriously by our urban dwellers which has led to the recent spate of home fires in urban areas.
On behalf of the Authority and Government I again plead with families in urban areas to please take extra precautionary measures to ensure unnecessary fires DON'T occur in your homes. Remember fires, if not managed properly, can lead to loss of years if investments in properties and also personal injury or even loss of lives. The community and NFA will need to work closely together if we are to reduce the occurrence of unnecessary fires in Fiji", Koroi added.

National Fire Authority (NFA) responded to a fire incident today which destroyed a three bedroom house at Tomuka settlement in Lautoka.

NFA Lautoka received the fire emergency call at 1249hrs from a neighbor and immediately dispatched the crew.  Upon arrival at the scene at 1259hrs the crew found the house well involved. The fire crew quickly established two deliveries of two hose lengths from tank supply to extinguish the fire.

The 8mx6m house made up of corrugated iron and timber is understood to be owned by a Mr. Mohammed Khan. 

NFA Divisional Fire Officer Western Mr Isoa Makutu said: "the firefighters fought hard to contain the fire from spreading to the nearby homes which was located three meters from the fire scene.

NFA is working with the police to ascertain the cause of the fire.

NFA APPEALS TO THE PUBLIC AND PROPERTY OWNERS TO COOPERATE WITH NFA ON FIRE PREVENTION

National Fire Authority (NFA) responded to two major fires in Suva this morning.
After successfully containing a fire at the Great Wok of China Restaurant kitchen in Flagstaff this morning NFA Suva Firefighters attended to another fire incident at Williams and Goslings Warehouse in Walu Bay.
 NFA Suva fire crew after arriving at the fire station in Walu Bay at 0629hrs saw the smoke coming out from the Williams and Goslings Warehouse.
Upon reaching the Williams and Goslings Warehouse at 0634hrs, the fire crew saw the Warehouse fully involved in fire. According to Acting Chief Fire Officer Mr. Qionilau Moceitai, from initial observation on arrival at the fire scene, the fire at the warehouse would have started burning a few hours prior to the arrival of the fire brigade. The heat generated from the warehouse was so intense that firefighters were not able to enter the warehouse. The firefighters instead focused on preventing the fire from spreading to nearby properties while at the same time extinguishing the warehouse fire. The firefighters managed to save from fire damage three W&G cargo trucks, 3 full container loads of goods and 3 brand new FEA transformers that were located within the warehouse property.
The fire crew established four deliveries of three hose lengths from tank supply with the help of the hydrant which was located 20m from the fire scene. Water was also drafted from a nearby creek to help extinguish the fire. 
NFA Acting Chief Executive Officer Mr Jone Koroi said: "the W&G warehouse fire damage could have been minimized had the NFA fire brigade been alerted earlier. This incident was unfortunate in that the warehouse did not have any security guard that could have alerted the NFA of the fire and no other member of the public noticed the fire earlier. The NFA could have been alerted earlier of the fire had this building been connected to NFA's automatic fire alarm monitoring system. I appeal with warehouse owners especially in the busy urban areas to ensure your buildings are connected to NFA's fire alarm monitoring system. This will ensure that the fire brigade is automatically alerted in the event of a fire especially when no one is present in the building when the fire starts," Mr Koroi said.
"Home owners are also encouraged to install smoke detectors for early detection of fires".
Mr Koroi said the recent spate of major fires in the country in the new year should be a concern to all citizens of Fiji as it represents destruction of years of investments and hard work and very devastating for a small economy such as Fiji. On behalf of our line Minister and NFA I humbly appeal to the general public to cooperate and work together with NFA in preventing fires from occurring in the first place. However, should fire occur in your homes or properties, please immediately alert the fire brigade by calling 911 and give the firefighters the best chance to save your assets from destruction.
"The damages to the Nadi MH supermarket fire on New Year's day and the Great Wok of China Restaurant fire this morning was minimized and the fire contained to the areas of origin because of quick calls from the public on the emergency telephone line 911.
"I wish to assure the public that the NFA has highly skilled firefighters and firefighting equipments to fight fires, however this will never be sufficient to put out all fires in Fiji. The bottom line therefore is for the general public to work closely with NFA in preventing fires.

"You can save your homes from fire by simply taking heed of NFA's advice on fire safety.
FIRE RESCUE DURING CYCLONE MICK

National Fire Authority officers evacuated 178 people in the Central/Eastern and Western division to safety during the course of Cyclone Mick.

NFA officers evacuated many families who were stranded in their homes in Nausori, Navua and Suva to the nearby evacuation centres.  Most of the homes were damaged during the course of the cyclone whilst others had to be evacuated due to rising flood waters.

NFA Acting Chief Fire Officer Mr Tupou Saubulinayau said:  "NFA's swift water rescue team evacuated several families who were stranded and needed help as their homes were flooded at the height of the cyclone".  

"We also called in off duty staff to join our operation team and they were deployed to areas in the Central/Eastern division as people needed help to reach safety as their homes  were being blown away due to strong winds and rain associated with Cyclone Mick," Saubulinayau said.

The Navua and Rewa Rivers flooded their banks causing flooding to nearby areas and homes.   NFA officers were quickly deployed to rescue people to safety in Navua.

Mr Saubulinayau said: "the count so far has been a total of 178 people rescued during the height of the cyclone, particularly in the Sigatoka to Nausori corridor, and the numbers are increasing as fire rescue teams continue flood rescue operations in the Nausori area this morning".

NFA rescue teams have been working closely with NDMO and the Police in their respective towns and rescuing Cyclone victims to their respective evacuation centres.

"It is pleasing to note that there were no house fires recorded during the height of Cyclone Mick and we are grateful that people have taken the necessary precautions when handling fire sources such as candles, benzene lights, mosquito coils, etc",  Mr Saubulinayau said.

NFA Acting Chief Executive Officer Mr Jone Koroi said:  "I am very proud of our fire rescue and logistics teams as some of them have continued beyond their call of duty.  Ensuring the safety of their families, our fire officers returned to their stations to assist in NFA's rescue operations for helpless people and families who have fallen victim to the wrath of Cyclone Mick".

NFA Signs MOU with China Fire Department

The Fiji National Fire Authority (NFA) on Thursday, 26 November 2009 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Fire Bureau of the Ministry of Public Security in Beijing, China, witnessed and aided by His Excellency the Fiji Ambassador to China, Sir James Ah Koy and Counselor Mr. Filipe Alifereti. The signatories to the MOU were Major General and Director General Chen Weiming of the Fire Department of the Ministry of Public Security of China and Mr. John Low, Chairman of the Fiji National Fire Authority.

The relationship between the NFA and the China Fire Department was first established in 2007. This bilateral relationship was taken to another level following successful discussions in finalizing a MOU in April 2009.

The MOU strengthens the Cooperation and exchanges for Fire fighting and Emergency Rescue in major areas of cooperation and assistance such as:

  • Regular exchange between bilateral Senior Fire Officers;
  • Providing of Technical Assistance to NFA for fire fighting equipment;
  • Attending of seminars or exhibition regarding fire fighting in both countries;
  • Sharing of Information on fire fighting.

Fiji Ambassador to China, Sir James Ah Koy said: "the MOU paves the way for long term assistance in many areas and will result in technical assistance and capacity building to the Fiji Fire Service by the People's Republic of China. This is a great outcome and achievement for Fiji and the NFA".
Sir James added that with the assistance of our Chinese Fire Department counterpart, NFA has procured three brand new fire appliances, fire equipment and fire tunics from China. The two fire trucks hold tank capacities of 12,000 and 5000 litres respectively and are the largest such appliances Fiji has ever possessed.
NFA Chairman Mr. John Low acknowledged the great support and assistance from the Chinese Government, the Chinese Embassy in Fiji and the Fiji Embassy in Beijing and said that "NFA looks forward to working together with the Chinese Government in taking NFA's operational capability to new heights. This cooperation with the China Fire Department will see the upgrading of our Fire Services in the major and small towns of Fiji as well."

NFA TOURNAMENT HAILED A SUCCESS

The first ever National Fire Authority rugby sevens tournament was hailed as a success. Two hundred fire fighters from NFA's sixteen stations in Fiji competed in the tournament which ended yesterday (Saturday, 5th Dec 2009) at John Wesley College grounds in Raiwaqa, Suva.

NFA Acting Chief Executive Officer Jone Koroi said: "the main objective of this tournament was to get all the fire fighters together to know each other and to enhance their physical fitness levels which will benefit the fire service delivery as well as bring out good sportsmanship and potential rugby stars in the fire industry.

"Since the establishment of the National Fire Authority a lot of recruits from 1996 to 2009 have been deployed to various stations and never in the history of NFA have our fire fighters met or come together. The only time they've met each other was during the recruitment phase.

"Fire fighters and volunteer fire fighters from all the NFA stations came together to be part of this historical sporting event organized by NFA," Koroi said.

"It was a good time for the NFA fire fighters to bond together and their support and dedication has made the tournament a success," Koroi added.

NFA Navua won the inaugural tournament when their side defeated NFA Nausori One 12-5 in the finals.

Navua pivot Petero Delasau converted a try in the second half to help the NFA Navua side win the tournament.

NFA Navua team with their spoils after winning the NFA sevens tournament

NATIONAL FIRE SERVICE DECREE 2009 STRENGTHENS NFA

The National Fire Service (Amendment) Decree 2009 will strengthen National Fire Authority's capacity and service delivery.
NFA Acting Chief Executive Officer Mr Jone Koroi said: "the approval of the National Fire Service (Amendment) Decree 2009 by Cabinet will give NFA more provision to protect the country from the detrimental impact of fires".
"The fire service has already undergone comprehensive changes since the National Fire Service Act 1994.  This National Fire Service (Amendment) Decree 2009 will improve the Authority's fire safety compliance function through the set up of a Structural Fire Safety Department.
"This Decree strengthens NFA's role to address the following:

  • Inspect and certify premises, whether residential, commercial, industrial or otherwise for compliance with the National Building Code (made under the Public Health Act), Health and Safety At Work Act 1996 and any other written law or regulation or which empowers the Authority to enforce;
  • obtain information and data necessary to provide certification or reports;
  • Enforce penalties for obstruction of NFA officers duty or non-compliance with NFS Act to the fee of $20,000 for companies and $5000 for a person;
  • Strengthen NFA's structural inspection, compliance and enforcement roles.
  • Develop strategies to manage transport and storage of hazardous material issues and where appropriate issue a public notice for the closure of premises, if the owner of the premises fails to comply with the provisions of the Act.
  • Audit books of Insurance companies & brokers for Revenue compliance.
 "The decree also requires the Reserve Bank of Fiji to issue a return requiring prescribed particulars for a class or classes of insurance providing all risk coverage or for all such insurance placed outside of Fiji as and when they are placed and renewed.
"The decree establishes a National Coordination Committee and three Divisional Coordination Committees.  The NCC will be chaired by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry responsible for the Authority with the functions of assisting and coordinating water supply, fire safety and mitigation and emergency services for disaster management; to also provide for planning and managing of fire safety and investigation as well as emergency services for disaster management and prevention. The National Fire Authority will be the secretariat of these committees," Mr Koroi said.
"The National Fire Service (Amendment) Decree supports NFA's vision for a more robust fire and rescue services in Fiji," Mr Koroi added.
Lautoka School up in flames

National Fire Authority (NFA) attended to a fire early this morning which completely destroyed the Lautoka Muslim Pre-School and twelve classrooms for Lautoka Muslim Primary School in central Lautoka.

NFA Lautoka received the fire emergency call at about 0125hrs from a bystander and immediately responded.  The fire crew arrived at 0128hrs and found that the fire had spread through the block of classrooms along the Mana Street side of the School. 

The firefighters quickly established four deliveries of twelve hose lengths from tank supply and engaged their new 5,500 litre fire truck.  However, there was no water in the nearby fire hydrant which was located just 50m from the fire scene.  The fire crew had to refill their fire trucks at the next hydrant that had water, which was located about two kilometers away – near Tagimaucia Street.  The firefighters completed all operations at 0600hrs, ensuring that all hot spots were completely extinguished.

The wooden structured pre-school and primary school buildings were completely destroyed in the fire. NFA Lautoka firefighters fought hard to contain the fire from spreading to the attached concrete double storey building and mosque.

NFA Acting Chie Fire Officer Mr Tupou Saubulinayau said: "We have dispatched our senior fire investigator from Head Quarters to Lautoka to conduct fire investigations".

He said:  "We urge all schools, particularly those with wooden structured buildings, to have their school premises inspected by the NFA to ensure compliance with fire safety standards and thus minimize the risk of fires.  Don't wait for disaster to strike.  We can all learn from this incident and avoid it from happening in future".

Mr Saubulinayau added: "Recently, NFA has embarked on fire safety inspections in all municipalities around the country to ensure that all properties are compliant with fire safety standards.  NFA is duty-bound through the National Fire Service Act, 1994 to inspect, in relation to fire safety, premises whether public or otherwise.  This is a proactive approach to fire safety by NFA in an effort to minimize the impact of fire and enhance fire safety and preparedness in our communities".

"We also urge the public to call the Fire Brigade on 911 immediately the fire starts.  Don't wait until the fire is out of control.  Give the firefighters the best and earliest opportunity to extinguish the fire and stop major damage to your property.  Fires are preventable if we take the necessary fire safety measures to prevent them from starting".

NFA CONCERNED WITH RESIDENTIAL HOUSE FIRES

National Fire Authority is concerned with residential house fires. This comes to light after NFA attended three house fires over the weekend.
On Sunday, 1 November 2009 four bedroom house at Natabua housing sub-division was destroyed in the fire leaving four people homeless.
NFA Lautoka received the fire emergency call at 1109hrs from the Police and immediately responded. The fire crew arrived at 1115hrs and found the house well involved.
The firefighters used one delivery of two hose lengths from tank supply to extinguish the fire. NFA Lautoka firefighters fought hard to contain the fire from spreading to the nearby houses which was located five metres away from the fire scene.
The four bedroom house 15mx8m residential structure made up of concrete was partially destroyed in the fire. The house was owned by Mr Suresh Prasad.
During the time of the incident Mr Prasad was in the Kitchen when he saw smoke coming out from one of the bedrooms.  The family went into the bedroom and tried to extinguish the fire with buckets of water but they were not able to contain the fire as it spread so quickly through the house. Luckily the family managed to escape through the front door. No one was injured.
NFA's investigations indicate that the cause of the fire was electrical related, originating from a short-circuit in the air-condition unit which was located on the bedroom wall.
In another incident, NFA Ba firefighters attended to a house fire at Namosau housing settlement on Saturday morning, 31 October 2009 which destroyed a two bedroom house leaving three people homeless. The emergency call was received from the Police at 0540hrs and the fire crew immediately responded. Upon arrival at the scene at 0545hrs the fire crew found the house well involved.
During the time of the fire incident Mr Chand and his family were sleeping in their bedroom. Mr Chand woke up and saw the Kitchen on fire. They managed to escape through the front door. No one was injured during the fire incident.
The cause of the fire was electrical related, originating from a short circuit in the meter box which was located inside the house in the Kitchen.

In yet another fire incident, NFA Sigatoka firefighters attended to a fire incident at Namada village in Sigatoka on Sunday, 1 November 2009.
NFA Sigatoka received the fire emergency call at 0935hrs from the Police and immediately responded. The fire crew arrived at 1046hrs and found the house well involved. The home was located 16km outside of Sigatoka town.

The one bedroom house 6mx4m residential structure made up of wooden was completely destroyed in the fire. The house was owned by Mr Apete Tamani. The house was vacant during the time of the fire incident. NFA is working with the Police to ascertain the actual cause of the fire.

NFA Acting Chief Fire Officer Mr Tupou Saubulinayau has reiterated NFA's advice for the people to ensure their property is thoroughly checked by an FEA-certified electrical contractor to avoid such unfortunate incidents.
"Fires are preventable and home owners can significantly reduce the risk of electrical fires by seriously taking heed of NFA's advice.
"You can prevent fires by following simple fire safety rules and precautions", Mr Saubulinayau said.
NFA is adamant of minimizing the impact of fire in the country if people would simply call fire brigade or the emergency line on 911 earlier. "Give us the best opportunity to respond to your fire incidents," Mr Saubulinayau said.

Quick action saves 3 bedroom house

National Fire Authority (NFA) responded to a fire incident this morning which partially destroyed a three bedroom house at Kula Place in Waiyavi, Lautoka.

NFA Lautoka received the fire emergency call at 0813hrs from the Police and immediately dispatched the crew.  Upon arrival at the scene at 0818hrs the crew found one of the bedrooms of the house on fire. The fire crew quickly established one delivery of two hose lengths from tank supply to extinguish the fire.

The concrete house structure was owned by Miss Rosyleen Naidu. No one was home during the time of the fire incident. The home owner Miss Naidu was away at work while her nephew was at school. However, the quick emergency call by her neighbor to the fire brigade enabled the early arrival of the fire crew.

The 8mx11m house was partially destroyed in the fire. Quick and skillful action by the NFA fire crew contained the fire to the area of origin and saved its spread to the rest of the home.

Whilst fire investigations are underway, initial indications suggest that the probable cause of fire was a prayer diya that had caught fire on the table in one of the bedrooms which was used as a prayer room. 

NFA Divisional Fire Officer Western Mr Isoa Makutu reiterates the need for people to take extra precautions when handling such fire ignitions as prayer diyas, mosquito coils, candles, etc.  Time and again we see homes exhumed by fire as a result of prayer diyas left unattended or carelessly handled. 

These items may be necessities used at home but they need to be handled with care by simply placing them on porcelain or tin plates and positioning them away from any overhead material that can cause a fire if accidentally brought into contact," Mr Makutu said. 

Home owners are requested to ensure all the ignitions are put off completely before leaving home to avoid such unfortunate incidents.

Fire safety is everyone's responsibility and you can save your property from going up in flames by simply taking extra precautions with such fire ignition sources.

Rise in Grass Fires Poses Major Threat

National Fire Authority is concerned with grass fire incidents, warning that the current dry and windy weather conditions country wide can contribute to major fire disasters.
Citizens have been setting fire to garbage and dry grass over the last few weeks, predominantly in villages and settlements around the country.
NFA Acting Chief Fire Officer Mr Tupou Saubulinayau, said that the increase in grass fires is believed to be due to the current excessive dry weather conditions. He said that over the last three to four weeks NFA has responded to bush and rubbish fires in the Northern, Western and Central/Eastern divisions because a lot of open areas such as large playfields and areas reserved for communal pastures have been converted into dumpsites.
Mr Saubulinayau said that some of these fires were wilfully set by persons and others resulted from spontaneous ignition. He said the fires pose a threat to infrastructure and residents. As a result, he urged all citizens to stop setting fires and to seek proper avenues to dispose of their garbage or clear their lands to ensure the safety and the comfort of those around.
"Another major problem for us is young people deliberately setting fires so, if you are a parent, we urge you to warn your children of the dangers of fire, as well as keeping matches and lighters out of their reach."
"With the dry season, awareness has been increased," Mr Saubulinayau said, adding that so too has the level of response and capability.
He said that the NFA realizes that it now needs to move to fire scenes with more water and to be more aggressive in some of its fire fighting operations. "We have now taken the initiative as the Fire Service to understand that we have to be more reliable with our own water carrying capabilities. At least for our initial response, we have to move with larger volumes of water so that we can stop the fire from spreading quickly towards damaging the infrastructure and nearby properties," he added.

NFA AVERT MAJOR FIRE IN LAUTOKA CITY

National Fire Authority (NFA) responded to a fire incident at Jolly Good Restaurant located at Naviti Street, Lautoka this afternoon preventing a major fire disaster in the heart of Lautoka City.

NFA Lautoka received the fire emergency call from the Police at 1335hrs and immediately responded. The fire crew arrived at 1337hrs and found the Storage compartment of the Restaurant on fire.  

The fire crew established one delivery of one hose length from tank supply with the help of the hydrant which was located 10m from the fire scene to extinguish the fire.  The quick action by the firefighters contained the fire to a small portion of the storage room and stopping it from completely destroying the storage room and from spreading to the other parts of the restaurant.

NFA fire fighters completed operations in less than half an hour.  

NFA preliminary investigations indicate that fire probably started from the Chimney which was located right beside the storage room.  However, investigations are continuing.

NFA's DFO West Isoa Makutu says: "The early alert enabled the fire crew to respond quickly to the scene. The fire fighters skillfully and successfully confined the fire and stopped it from spreading to the rest of the Restaurant and the adjacent commercial properties located along Naviti Street. The fire crew did a great job in stopping a potential fire disaster in Lautoka City".

NFA Acting CEO Jone Koroi said: "This incident emphasizes the efforts that the National Fire Authority is pursuing with the Municipalities on the need to enforce fire safety compliance for all businesses in order to eliminate or minimize the risk of their properties being destroyed by fire.  Non-compliance to fire safety simply increases the fire risk and impact of fire to the business as well as the community".

NFA SUPPORTS ECONOMIC GROWTH

National Fire Authority is striving towards excellence under the administration of its Board Chairman Mr John Low and Management Team since April 2007.

Fires have cost this nation almost $60 million to $100 million in loss of jobs, loss of properties and loss of revenue from businesses.

Under the leadership of Mr Low and his colleagues on the NFA Board and a fresh Management, the new team has rebranded and repositioned itself as an important arm of public safety.

Following Cabinet's endorsement of NFA's Strategic Roadmap for fire safety and mitigation in Fiji on 9 October 2007, the NFA Board embarked on a strategic roadmap that identified six key strategic elements as priority areas that would enable NFA to achieve its aim to support economic growth and development of our country and to ensure community fire safety and well being of our citizens.
 
NFA Board Chairman Mr John Low says: " NFA's Strategic Roadmap sets out Government's vision for a "whole of Government" integrated approach to fire and emergency service provision and the priorities that Government desires to be addressed over their planning period.

"A key strategy is the need to develop and strengthen partnerships with local stakeholders as well as establish external collaborations with international fire services that can provide support and technical expertise to NFA for the benefit of the people of Fiji."

"There has been a lot of assistance rendered through overseas partnerships with the Matsusaka Fire Department of Japan, Country Fire Authority of Australia and lately from the China Fire Bureau of China.  These organisations have assisted NFA in strengthening its capacity and service delivery", Mr Low said.

"NFA's future goal is the expansion of Fire Service delivery models.  This includes proactive approach to fire safety enforcement of fire compliance and enhanced community education, improved service performance,  monitoring and reporting for accurate analysis of statistics and emerging trends, partnerships and strong stakeholder relations and sustainable funding arrangements", Mr Low said.

"Given the expanded role of the NFA, it has now gone to develop links with Asian countries, embracing  Government's Look North Policy", Mr Low added.

NFA reminds the Public to take extra care during Diwali

National Fire Authority would like to remind the public to take extra precautions during Diwali. Fire prevention is better than crying with regret after a devastating fire. Fire occurrences during Diwali have been mainly due to carelessness of parents who don't supervised their children when they are playing with fire crackers, matches, or not properly placing candles, prayer diyas, lanterns away from flammable material, etc.

NFA Acting Chief Fire Officer Mr Tupou Saubulinayau says during Diwali there is more chance of homes being destroyed by fire.

"NFA is advising the public to take extra precautions during Diwali. Diwali is thoroughly enjoyed by people of all age groups as they love the splendor and sparkle of fireworks.

"All accidents due to fireworks occur as a result of carelessness, negligence and ignorance. But these can certainly be avoided by observing some very simple precautions. All of us enjoy the pleasure of light and sound but when disaster strikes the injured bears the cost. If you're going to set off fireworks at home this Diwali, please take a few minutes to read through the guidelines", Mr Saubulinayau said.

Here are some tips to help you prevent unnecessary fire incidents:

Inside your Home
(1)  For fairy lights and other electrical displays use only one item per power socket and don't overload power boards or piggy back double adapters.
(2)  For maximum safety if you use a power board ensure it has both overload protection and earth leakage protection devices incorporated.
(3)  Only use decorative lights that have an approved standard label and follow the manufacturer's instructions to setup and operate it.
(4)  Check your fairy lights before use. If wiring, cords or plugs appear damaged – Don't use them.
(5)  Decorative lights may become very hot so keep away from children and flammable materials such as wrapping paper or decorations.
(6)  Candles (diyas) should be used in a safe position away from flammable materials and out of reach of children. Extinguish them before going to bed.
(7)  Switch off all electrical displays and decorative lights before going to bed.
(8)  Always keep lighters and matches away from children.  Educate children that they are tools not toys, and are for use only by responsible adults.                    

 Remember to Dial 911 for Fire Rescue.
Feel free to contact your nearest Fire Station for more information.
Archive : ~September 2009

KAILA CLUB FUN DAY.. IT'S A KNOCKOUT...

The heat and blazing sun never damped the spirits of some young members of the public who enjoyed themselves merely during the KAILA CLUB FUN DAY on the 12th of January, earlier this year.

From crawling, to rolling and even to the slip and slides were the games organised by the National Fire Authority on this day for these enthusiatic young people as their partnership agreement with KAILA.. Having fun was not only the main idea but also to pass on the message of fire safety which was incorporated in these games, such as the STOP,DROP AND ROLL message when your clothes cathes fire.

The children also got a glimpse of fire fighting skills performed by the firemen after being sprayed with water to keep them cool on this very hot day.

In addition to this very successful day, food and drinks were provided for free while awards were offered to the winners of each competitions as according to their age categories.

Interested young new members also had the chance to register and the membership are for kids with age groups ranging from 8 to 18 years. To date they have more then 100 members(not including the ones who have been registering on this fun filled day. ).

NFA's benefits from this parrtneship is the free publicity on the media, on;KAILA, FIJI TIMES, SUNDAY TIMES, NAI LALAKAI RAI VOU, SHANTI DUTT ,AND FIJI TIMES ONLINE JUST TO NAME A FEW..

     
     
 
MINISTER'S VISIT

Mr. Lekh Ram Vayeshnoi suprised most of the fire fighters and staff of National Fire Auhtority on the 22nd of January, 2008 when he traditionally received a TABUA(whale's tooth) in his Nadroga dialect

. His official visit also prompted his predecessor, Mr. Jone Navakamocea to traditionally do his "I TATAU" to NFA...and also, in a ceremonial and chiefly manner, handed over his entire work on NFA to Mr. Vayeshnoi.

Present on this day, were all the Board members including the new Permanent Secretary Mrs Litia Mawi.

On his arrival, Mr. Vayeahnoi was treated to an official welcome from about 14 fire officers parading infont of the NFA's Headquarters braving the hot sun, just to give their salutes to their new minister.

The day also saw the presence of some members of the media which was also a good(hopefully) chance for our crew in Walu Bay to give their best in promoting and marketing the services and support of NFA.

Colorful fruits and delicious fish and curry were the icing on the cake.

In his speech, the Minister gave his assurance in facilitating and supporting the NFA's services. He also challenged the firefighters to chnage community mindsets and make people fully responsible for their own safety. And he further added that the interim government will deal with matters relating to water and fire hydrants.

     
     
 
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