Former F.E.S.A. head talks fires

By Diedre Fanene ,

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Former CEO of Fire Emergency Service Authority Asuao Ta’alili Williams is backing the Authority all the way despite some of the accusations made by the public on the day that the flea market burned.

“I don’t belive that the truck didn’t have water because there is not a single fire truck that has no water; every fire truck has water,” he said.

“If you look at how it started the whole world uses the same guidelines. 

“The first priority is protecting lives, then it’s the nearby properties and then the third is dealing with the fire.”

Asuao also believes that there are some things that need to be improved within Samoa.

“When I was there from 1980-1989 I requested that the government provide some long ladders other essential equipment which is necessary with this kind of fire,” he said.

“Another thing that I see is that the communication between the Samoa Water Authority and the Fire Department is lacking  because they (S.W.A.) should be the ones redirecting the water for the Fire Authority to use.

“The government should really look into this issue because there is no point of having many fire trucks but not enough water.

“Another thing is that the food stalls shouldn’t be together with a flea market because as you can see, when the fire started, it was like a piece of paper that caught on fire!

“[And] luckily there was nobody there at the flea market. But imagine if it caught fire during the busy times? I’m sure that many would have been injured because the space is too small.

“From my point of view, the C.E.O. has been there for so long and so he understands this very well.”

He also encouraged the Authority to keep up the good work and to realise that the public are always very quick to apportion blame.                                                                                                                                     

“This particular job needs a person with a lot of experience in the field. It needs someone who has been working in the Authority for more than a few years.

“An accountant cannot do the work of the fire fighter, C.E.O. or anyone else.  They can’t and the reason why I said they can’t is because they wouldn’t know what to do.

During my time at the Authority we didn’t have that many cars but we could still put out a fire.

“I don’t believe that the accusations of the people against the F.E.S.A. are true because they have done the best they can.

“Another thing that I have noticed in any fire is that people try to put out the fire themselves, and when they can’t put it out, then they call the F.E.S.A.

“But my advice is that once there is a fire, call the Authority, it doesn’t matter whether it’s a small problem or whatever, just call them.

“That’s the rule of any fire; but don’t try and put it out yourself.

“Another thing that I would like to suggest is to have some fire hydrants installed.

“People are complaining a lot but they don’t know what the F.E.S.A . is going through. 

I have been serving the Authority for sometime but I guess people don’t always understand.”

© Samoa Observer 2016

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