City of Cape Town Fire and Rescue Service staff awarded for bravery
The City of Cape Town’s Safety and Security Directorate honoured staff from the Fire and Rescue Service at the mid-year awards. 18 fire fighters received recognition for their work at the annual mid-year service awards, held at Roeland Street Fire Station on Thursday, 2 September 2021. Some of the staff members awarded included a fireman who delivered a baby and a platoon whose quick thinking saved a disabled resident from death. Chief fire officer Ian Schnetler said the ceremony was usually held as an event for fire fighters and stations across the city, however, due to the lockdown regulations, the awards were held in smaller events at individual stations.
He said the service commendation awards were for fire fighters who went above and beyond the call of duty, even though all the staff were saving lives every day.
Of the 18 award recipients, five of them, two fire fighters and three members of the Quality Assurance team, were not present at the ceremony.
“Our fire and rescue staff do incredible work, often going beyond the call of duty to save lives and property. While human lives are their priority, they are not adverse to saving some of our furry four-legged residents. Each staff member is commended for their dedication, their bravery and commitment to a job which requires much of them physically and emotionally,” said the City of Cape Town’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, Alderman JP Smith.
Fire fighters received awards for personal achievements, work conduct, contribution to the City of Cape Town, leadership and initiative and process improvement and innovation categories. “Our fire fighters do much more and the categories do not truly reflect all of the invaluable contributions they make. With the awards we hope to recognise that this is their passion and not just another job,” said Alderman Smith.
The Lakeside 3 platoon received an award for leadership and initiative after they not only saved a disabled man from a fire, but they returned to rebuild a cupboard and replace a damaged bedside table. The incident happened on 28 February this year when the platoon was dispatched to a vegetation fire in Seawinds. They attended to the burning grass, when one fire fighter noticed a flickering light from an informal dwelling, quickly followed by smoke billowing from the structure.
The crew reacted immediately by deploying a line of hose, forced entry by breaking down the door and located a disabled male lying asleep on the bed. At that point, the bedside table and bedding had ignited and the crew evacuated and treated the man, before they extinguished the fire with minimal damage caused.
‘If it wasn’t for the situational awareness and swift action by the crew the occupant would have succumbed the fire and the structure destroyed. They followed this up by having a new cupboard built to replace the damaged bedside table. This is just one of the many acts of bravery, which are all in a day’s work for our men and women in uniform,’ said Alderman Smith.
After putting out shack fires in Vrygrond, three fire fighters conducted an awareness drive and helped a man replace some of his belongings, which had been damaged in a shack fire. Mayoral committee member of safety and security, JP Smith, pinned badges of service commendation on fire fighters Anthony Crown, Jonathan Williams and Rafel Wozniak.
Senior fire fighter Denzil Anthony Benny was commended for delivering a baby boy at Goodwood Fire Station in December last year. Jacques Swanepoel won the smart diver of the year award and was also commended for helping fellow fire fighter Benny to deliver the baby boy at Goodwood Fire Station.
Three fire fighters were commended for the work they put into training and managing seasonal fire fighters. They were senior fire fighter Siraaj Theunissen, stationed at Ottery Fire Station; Graham Damons, acting platoon commander stationed at Simon’s Town Fire Station and fire fighter Joshua Mozes, stationed at Mitchell’s Plain Fire Station.
The control room staff were also recognised. Dispatchers from the command control centre in Goodwood were commended for being the first port of call so that the fire fighters are able to do their jobs. They include Jovan Bester, Nazlie Calvert and Leanie Counter. Marilyn Booysen, Gaynor van Rooyen and Nicolette Wilma Isaacs were recognised in their absence.
Vusumzi Mzimvubu from the Goodwood Command and Control Centre, took on the challenge of fixing little technical things that helped firefighters do their everyday work. He received an award for dedication, hard work and commitment.
Fire and Rescue Services spokesperson Jermaine Carelse was recognised for his role in the quality assurance team and was thanked for ensuring that news from the Fire and Rescue Service was shared with the media.
The awards are held twice a year.
Source: City of Cape Town media office, The Cape Towner