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Fire Chief Urges Media Outlets To Avoid Misleading Reports

“We have noticed that some media outlets only pick part of the information we provided them with that does not bring comfort to those people affected, particularly to our fire victims,” Mr Sowane said.
23 Sep 2022 15:40
Fire Chief Urges Media Outlets To Avoid Misleading Reports
National Fire Authority chief executuive officer, Mr Puamau Sowane at the NFA headquarters in Suva on September 22, 2022. Photo: Jone Salusalu

Puamau Sowane has urged all media outlets not to publish misleading articles when it comes to fire incidents. The National Fire Authority chief executive officer made the comments in response to an article published in the Fiji Times front page on September 20, 2022, titled ‘Failed Call to 910’.

In the article, it claimed that NFA responded inconsistently to the Nadonumai Settlement, Delainavesi fire incident which claimed the life a six-month-old baby.

During a press conference yesterday he highlighted that the media played an important role in reporting accurately to the general public.

 

“We have noticed that some media outlets only pick part of the information we provided them with that does not bring comfort to those people affected, particularly to our fire victims,” Mr Sowane said.

“It is important to understand that some information we do not release immediately for public consumption due to the fragile state of the minds of our fire victims.”

He sympathized with the families involved who had lost their loved ones, adding if only the authorities had been provided with the right information since the first initial call was made.

 

“On the day of the fire incident at Nadonumai Settlement, between 4.30pm – 5.30pm our computer aided dispatch (CAD) system received 21 emergency calls and three abandoned calls,” Mr Sowane said.

“The first call was received on 910 at 4.49pm where the caller only stated that there was a fire with no other information and hung up.”

 

NFA Command Centre Timeline

  • The NFA received five calls from the same number addressed to the same incident that occurred in Nadonumai Settlement.
  • At 4.49pm and 4.50pm first two calls were made to the command center where no initial information nor sufficient details of the fire were made.
  • In the first call at 4.49pm a child mentioned that there was a fire, when he was further queried of the address, the child continued to say ‘fire’ then hung up.
  • 4.50pm the caller did not say anything, after a few seconds, the caller hung up, followed by three abandoned calls.
  • Around 5.23pm the command center now received the call from the Fiji Police Force, which by now the firefighters were already dispatched.

All attempts to get a comment from the The Fiji Times Editor-in- Chief, Fred Wesley were unsuccessful by the time this edition went to press.

 

Story By: jone.salusalu@fijisun.com.fj



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