At least, 500 Emergency Management Volunteers, EMVs, are to complement the efforts of the Lagos State Government in battling environmental disasters in the state.
The EMVs began a two-day training on Monday at the Lagos State Relief Camp, Igando, Lagos, Southwest Nigeria to prepare them for the work ahead. The volunteers are drawn from 57 Local Governments and Local Council Development Areas, LCDAs of the state.
Commissioner for Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Relations, Seye Oladejo flagged off the training on Monday, saying that the volunteers were being trained to effectively manage disaster such as fire, flooding, collapsed building, automobile, boat or air crash, among others.
He said timely response was crucial to their management and the extent of damaged caused.
“As a result, there has been remarkable improvement in the management of disaster and emergencies as demonstrated by various occurrences recorded recently in different parts of the state. The LASEMA Response Unit and the sophisticated equipment such as tow trucks, crane, fire trucks, ICU ambulances, forklifts etc., which most times are dispatched to various emergency intervention such as fallen tanker/containers, automobile accident, and removal of stationary vehicles especially at night has tremendously reduced as well as mitigate emergencies that would have claimed lives in the State,” he said.
The commissioner stated that the current administration had continued to invest in disaster and emergency management infrastructure, saying this was not only to safeguard the multi-billion naira investments that dotted thee state’s landscape, but that the effort was part of the strategies to make the state investment friendly and boost the confidence of thee investors in the state.
“It is very important to note here that emergency/disaster management requires adequate, proper training and professionalism, this is important because minor injuries, if not properly attended to by competent hands could lead to complications, or rescuers without proper training could turn into victims.
“It is therefore believed that the engagement of these volunteers and capacity building as emergency responders will enable us have thee advantage of local knowledge of emergency scenes and the ability of our responders to be properly guided in their rescue efforts as well as improve prompt and adequate response during emergency/disaster, thereby improving the response time as well as reduce disaster risks at the community level,” he stated.
Oladejo solicited the support of all in making the state a safe haven for people living and doing business in the state.
General Manager, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, LASEMA, Adesina Tiamiyu, said the emergency management volunteers was primarily conceived to reduce and manage disaster risk through capacity building of local inhabitants of the state, saying the volunteers could also help other residents in their areas to save more lives and properties in the state.
“The whole idea is to bring emergency management to the communities, in realization of the fact that it is the communities that bear the real brunt of the emergencies and disasters. Based on this realization, it is only wise that a solid foundation should be laid for effective emergency/disaster management at the community level and also ensures that our communities and the grassroots people become sufficiently equipped, sensitized and enlightened on issues of emergencies/disasters prevention, response and management,” he said.
According to him, “Lagos State as a mega city, with high population density and peculiar topography, as well as high concentration of industries, has become vulnerable to many types of disaster, especially the man-made ones, like collapsed building and automobile/tanker accidents with accompanying fire and loss of lives and properties.”