A Critical Investigation Of The Challenges In Recruitment, Selection And Placement Of Workers In National Fire Service, Central Region Of Ghana

Project and Seminar Material for Human Resource Management (HRM)

A Critical Investigation Of The Challenges In Recruitment, Selection And Placement Of Workers In National Fire Service, Central Region Of Ghana


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background Of The Study

In today’s development mindset, the relevance of institutions that provide fire prevention and suppression services can not be emphasized. These services are required to safeguard property and save lives. However, in underdeveloped nations like Ghana, the delivery of these services is woefully inadequate. In underdeveloped nations, such institutions are ill-equipped to provide the necessary fire prevention and suppression services mandated by the legislation that formed them. This predicament, along with inadequate service conditions, makes it impossible for these institutions to attract the necessary human resources for successful service delivery. As a result, they frequently fall short of public expectations.

Prior to Ghana’s independence on March 6, 1957, there were areas with privately operated fire departments. These were the following:

  1. Civil Aviation and Rescue
  2. Railways and Harbours Fire Service Accra City Fire Station
  3. Tema Local Council Fire Service Kumasi City Fire Service
  4. Sekondi/Takoradi Fire Service Armed Forces Fire Service
  5. G.S Leader, a British Fire Service Officer, advised the Ghanaian government.

An Act of Parliament formed the National Fire Service (GNFS) in 1963. (Act 219). All other fire departments were required to merge under the Act, with the exception of the Armed Forces Fire Brigade, which remained autonomous for security concerns (A day in the life of a fireman, Mirror) (1999, February). The terms of Act 219 of 1963 required the following activities to be carried out:

  1. Fire Control
  2. Public Education Fire Investigation
  3. Emergency Assistance Fire Safety Inspection
  4. Emergency Medical Assistance

An Act of Parliament, Act 537 of 1997, re-established the GNFS in 1997 to prevent and manage unwanted fires (Government of Ghana, 1997). The Act further states that the Service will be made up of personnel who were enlisted in the GNFS immediately before the Act’s enactment and other personnel who may be enlisted in the Service. In order to achieve its aims of preventing and mitigating unwanted fires, the Service has a number of responsibilities under Act 537 of 1997. The Act empowers the GNFS to carry out the following responsibilities:

  1. Organise public fire education programmes to create and sustain awareness of the hazard of fire and also heighten the role of the individual in the prevention of undesired fire;
  2. Provide technical advice for the building plans in respect of machinery and structural layouts to facilitate escape from fire rescue operations and fire management;
  3. Inspect and offer technical advice on fire extinguishers;
  4. Co-ordinate and advise on the training of personnel in the fire fighting department of institutions in the country;
    Train and organize fire volunteer squads at the community level;
  5. Offer rescue and evacuation services to those trapped by fire or in other emergency situations; and
  6. Undertake any other functions incidental to the objective of the service.

The importance of the fire service to the country’s socioeconomic development can not be overstated. The service can not only respond to emergency circumstances such as fires, but it can also save lives and property during floods. Achimota, where a drowned man was found after three days of constant searching following a torrential downpour in 2006, was one of the most major rescue efforts in recent times. When a fire strikes, it is not only monetarily devastating to mankind, but it is also terrible for the human environment. According to the CFO Guidelines for 2007, there were a total of 1986 fire outbreaks in 2006, resulting in a total loss of GH 2,204,096.86, compared to 2,683 fires and a loss of GH 5,361,557.41 the year before. This revelation implies that the GNFS still has a lot of work to do in terms of human resource management and development.

The Ghana Fire Academy and Training School (FATS) is the GNFS’s primary basic training facility, where officers and men are prepared to take on crucial roles in the organization. The fire school educates cadet officers, who are made up of merit-based station officers. Furthermore, only a small percentage of university degree holders in the fire service are chosen for six months of training and then commissioned as Assistant Divisional Officers (ADO). Non-degree holders are also prepared to go through six months of basic firefighting skills training and graduate as recruited firemen and women. These individuals are assigned to departments within the mainstream fire service, such as operations, administration and finance, safety, and rural fire departments, in various stations across the country.

According to Armstrong (2006), every organization manages its human resources, which are classified as the most valuable assets in the organization, using both strategic and cohesive approaches. The ability of GNFS employees to fight unwanted fires, which is reliant on the quality and quantity of workers in the service, plays a vital part in the nation’s development. Harbison (1973, p. 1), referenced by Arkoh, observes that (2004, p. 17).

Human resources are the ultimate foundation for a country’s wealth. Capital and natural resources are both passive production inputs. Humans are active participants who amass wealth.

For national development, use natural resources and construct social, economic, and political organizations.

The GNFS’s activities necessitated the use of qualified and trained staff to carry out the various tasks.

The primary goal of recruitment operations, according to Boachie-Mensah (2006), is to establish a pool of job candidates in accordance with the organization’s human resource plan. In addition, he defined selection as the process of determining who from a pool of eligible candidates is the best fit for the job. As reported in Folkes and Linenash (1982; referenced in Koranteng, 2005, p. 2), Wriston added value to this by saying, “I feel the only game in town is the personnel game.” My view is that you don’t need to do anything else if you have the right person in the right spot. There is no management strategy known to man that can save you if you hire the incorrect person for the position.

Anecdotal data suggests that the Ghana National Fire Service lacks both quantity and quality employees. As a result, the numerous stations around Ghana are understaffed and unable to carry out their responsibilities properly and efficiently.


1.2 Statement Of The Problem

Like any other security force in Ghana, the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) has faced concerns and obstacles in terms of recruiting, selection, and placement. Since the Ghana National Assembly was established, Since its inception in 1963, the Fire Service has faced numerous obstacles, including an insufficient quantity and quality of employees to carry out its purpose. The service, in particular, and the government as a whole are concerned about the recruitment, selection, and placement of qualified individuals, since these issues undermine the GNFS’ ability to provide efficient and effective service to the public.

The service’s current manpower of 6,020 workers is insufficient to deal with the country’s numerous fire breakouts. As a result, there is a mismatch between the service’s personnel demands and the funding available to train existing employees and hire new ones. Almost all of the country’s fire stations are in desperate need of manpower. When there is recruitment, the passed-out recruits are sometimes rejected to be posted to specific sections of the country. Furthermore, due to a shortage of people, the recruited personnel are not evenly dispersed across the fire stations. There is also a perception of political influence, family pressure on recruitment staff, and relationships between old acquaintances and schoolmates that appear to taint the selection of people into the army.

Anyima-Ackah (2002) stated that skilled and competent individuals are critical to an organization’s efficiency and effectiveness. He alluded to the fact that, while the GNFS trains its fire brigades, the question of whether the trained employees are qualified and competent enough to deal with current fire service emergency scenarios remains unanswered.

Given the massive work that the GNFS is tasked with, it is critical that the correct people are recruited into the agency. In light of the foregoing, one would be tempted to pose a few crucial questions, the answers to which are required for the GNFS to function properly. For example, what are the GNFS employee qualifications in the Central Region? Are these credentials appropriate for their position? Do employees possess the technical knowledge required by their present job descriptions? Above all, are employees satisfied with their current position in light of their qualifications? In order to understand the current level of performance of the GNFS, this study will look into issues of recruiting, selection, and placement.


1.3 Objective Of The Study

The overall goal of the research is to critically investigate the challenges in recruitment, selection and placement of workers in national fire service, Central Region Of Ghana.:

  1. Find out if the qualifications of employees match the requirements.
  2. Investigate the factors that influence employee selection, recruiting, and placement.
  3. Identify the issues that the service has in terms of personnel selection, recruitment, and placement.

1.4 Research Questions

The following research questions guide the objective of the study:

  1. Do the qualifications of employees match the requirements?
  2. Investigate the factors that influence employee selection, recruiting, and placement.
  3. Identify the issues that the service has in terms of personnel selection, recruitment, and placement.

1.5 Significance Of The Study

This study will aim to investigate other characteristics that are likely to influence selection, recruitment, and placement in the Ghana National Fire Service, using the Central Region, despite the fact that it will be difficult to analyze due to its sensitive nature.

As a result, in addition to providing some insight into the challenges at hand, the study will also act as a source of literature for future research. The study will be valuable to the Ghana National Fire Service’s Central Regional Command as it attempts to identify recruitment, selection, and placement difficulties in the region. This is because the recruitment process has been decentralized from the national headquarters to the regional level.

As a result, the study will uncover weaknesses in the Ghana National Fire Service’s selection, recruiting, and placement in the Central Region. The research’s recommendations will aid Ghana’s National Fire Service.

The purpose of this service is to help with some of the issues that come with selection, recruitment, and placement.


1.6 Scope Of The Study

The research locations are the Central Region’s numerous fire stations. The rest of the stations, with the exception of the headquarters, UCC and Breman Essiam, are located in municipal and district capitals with considerable populations. These district capitals are settlements where development activities are concentrated inside the district.

Economic activities in these settlements are similar to those in Ghanaian settlements with similar status. Although a considerable majority of the population works in the official sector, farming and fishing are the primary activities in many of these villages.

The research is also restricted to concerns relating to the recruiting, selection, and placement process in Ghana’s Central Region.


1.7 Limitation Of Study

The study was limited due to the short time frame, budget and the inability to cover the unwillingness of staff to respond quickly.


1.8 Definition Of Terms

Recruitment:

Recruitment is a positive process of searching for prospective employees and stimulating them to apply for jobs in the organisation.

Selection:

The action or fact of carefully choosing someone or something as being the best or most suitable.

Placement:

The temporary posting of someone in a workplace to enable them to gain work experience.

National fire service Ghana:

The Ghana National Fire and Rescue Service (GNFRS) is an agency under the Ghanaian Ministry of the Interior, constituting Ghana’s nationwide fire service.


Chapter Two


Literature Review

Introduction

Our focus in this chapter is to critically examine relevant literature that would assist in explaining the research problem and, furthermore, recognize the efforts of scholars who have previously contributed immensely to similar research. The chapter intends to deepen the understanding of the study and close the perceived gaps.


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