NATIONAL Fire Authority chief fire officer northern John Pillay commended the partnership it has built with the media here in the past three years he took up office in Labasa.
Prior to his deployment to the north, he said the relationship with the media was poor.
"So over those years, we managed to establish a good relationship with both the (print) media organisations here and we can see they are very proactive, and they understand when we cannot reveal certain information," Mr Pillay said.
"Otherwise, before, the media here will just get information from bystanders and often there was a lot of negative reporting and we miss getting out appropriate fire safety messages to the public at large," he said.
Mr Pillay said with the approval from the national fire headquarters in Suva, he was able to establish a network not only with the media, but also with schools, the business community, non-government organisations and the northern community at large. He said the partnerships had proven to be a success with positive feedbacks from stakeholders and the general public on fire safety issues.
He said the 30 officers in Labasa particularly, had daily plans — of which house to house visits were an essential part of it.