BULAWAYO City Council (BCC)’s fire brigade is experiencing a massive brain drain with experienced firefighters leaving for greener pastures, acting chief fire officer Linos Phiri has said.
Phiri revealed that most of their experienced firefighters were leaving for countries such as the United Arab Emirates, leaving local fire stations manned by trainees.
“We are equipped except that we have had a lot of brain drain,” Phiri said.
“We have experienced a massive brain drain to destinations like Dubai. Therefore most of our firefighters are now trainees.”
Phiri said they had increased the number of recruits to bridge the skills flight.
“We lost quite a number of people which is about 30 or so qualified staff but we went to recruit about 50. The training takes about two years. Out of those 50, a significant number left as well. So now we made a call to have 60 more,“ he said.
“This is not a challenge facing Bulawayo only; even Harare is experiencing the same problem. We hope that after training the 60 we called for, they will at least stay and we will be able to deal with all emergencies effectively.”
Phiri also said plans were in the pipeline to install satellite fire stations in areas such as Cowdray Park and Waterford.
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