The Federal Fire Service (FFS) has described as unfortunate the recent decontamination exercise at the School of Health Science and Technology, Ijero Ekiti where such affected the health of the students leading to hospitalization.
The Service in a statement Friday in Abuja by its Public Relations Officer SF Ugo Huan, sympathised with the two students of the institution who were receiving treatment at the hospital “as a result of this unfortunate incident and we wish them quick recovery.”
The statement said: “the Service whose mandate is to save lives and property will never intentionally or unprofessionally do anything that will affect the health or lives of Nigerians.”
While denying the report that the Service did not get the permission of the school authority and unprofessionally carried out decontamination of the school environment, explained that “On the 14th day of May, 2021 a letter was sent to the School management of School of Health Science and Technology, Ijero Ekiti notifying them that the Federal Fire Service Covid – 19 Response Team in the state will be coming to the School to carry out decontamination exercise and there is need for students and staff to vacate the premise for a period of 30 minutes that the decontamination will last as that has been the usual practice in other places where our men have carried out decontamination exercises without any incidence.
“The letter was acknowledged by the school and permission was also granted. The COVID-19 Desk Officer called the Registrar of the Institution on the day they team was to visit the school to inform him of their coming to which permission was also granted by the Registrar to them.
“When they got to the school the team met with the Registrar and other management staff in the Registrar’s office where they still reiterated the need for the students and staff to vacate the school premises and were assured by the Registrar that students and staff have been informed of the exercise and were well out of reach as required by the safety directives.
“Trouble started 15 minutes after the decontamination exercise started with reports that some students had collapsed due to the adverse effect of the decontamination exercise. Our men immediately stopped the decontamination, but by then the students came attacking our men almost lynching them, it took the intervention of the school security who took them to the registrar’s office and later were whisked away by armed police officers of the Rapid Response Team.”
The statement added that Ekiti state command’s commander was later invited to Ekiti state government house where he briefed governor Kayode Fayemi on what transpired.
“We want to categorically state that, the Federal Fire Service has trained all its men involved in the decontamination exercise against the spread of Covid-19 in the wake of the outbreak of Covid- 19. The Service in partnership with the ministry of environment flagged of the decontamination exercise.
“Presently the Service has established a Covid- 19 Response Team in all its State Commands made up of well trained staff and representatives of Environmental Health Officers Association of Nigeria (EHOAN) and Environmental Officers Registration Council of Nigeria (EHORECON) in the handling of chemical used for the decontamination exercise. As we speak the team is doing very well and carrying out the decontamination exercise professionally in all States of the Federation with no reported case of casualty .
“The isolated case in the School of Health Science and Technology, Ijero, Ekiti is quite unfortunate.
“The service is partnering with the State Government in the investigation already instituted by the State Government to ascertain the cause and to avert future occurrence. To also find out why did this unfortunate incident happened in only School of health and Technology, Ijero Ekiti and not other schools where our men have carried out same decontamination exercises.”