City of Cape Town's new fire fighters graduate
The ranks of the City of Cape Town's Fire and Rescue Service were boosted when 51 new fire fighters were officially welcomed on 25 October 2019. The new recruits will hit the ground running in time for the busy summer season. The new fire fighters recently completed their eight-month training course after making it through the rigorous 2018 recruitment process. “Fire fighters must undergo hours of training and prove their proficiency, which is by no means easy. Our new fire fighters can be very proud of their achievements and for joining the Fire and Rescue Service,' said the city’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, Alderman JP Smith, who delivered the keynote address at the graduation ceremony.
Fire fighters control and extinguish fires, respond to emergency situations and primarily protect people, the environment and property from accidents and emergencies. “Our fire fighters work closely with the local community to increase fire safety awareness in order to help prevent fires and accidents from happening in the first place,” said Alderman Smith.
The group of 51 had to pass a tough physical assessment, followed by interviews and then eight months of training in various modules including Firefighter 1, Hazardous Materials Awareness and First-Aid Level 3.
At their graduation ceremony in Epping, the new fire fighters were presented with their rank and badge, with the former pinned to the corners of their shirt collars and the badge above the left shirt pocket. They are now permanent members of staff and will be deployed to various fire stations across the metropole.
New recruit, Nomvuyiseko Lungile from Khayelitsha said the path to becoming a fire fighter wasn't easy but she did it to serve her community and to help protect lives and property.
Dane Smidt was a seasonal fire fighter for five years before becoming a learner fire fighter. “I became a fire fighter mainly to serve my community and show care for others,” he said.
The summer season is traditionally the service's busiest time of year and will put the new fire fighters through their paces and test their newly-acquired skills.
The Fire and Rescue Service noted a near nine percent increase in vegetation fires year-on-year, between 2018 and 2019. This in turn increased the overall number of fires that fire fighters responded to, just over 70 percent of all fires are vegetation fires.
“Summer is the fun, holiday season and at the same time we want to urge residents to act responsibly as it's also the time there are high demands on our fire fighters. Saving lives and property are their priority and I am confident our fire fighters are able to step up to the plate. Added to our efforts is that we'll soon deploy our team of seasonal fire fighters,” added Alderman Smith.
Source: Media Office, City of Cape Town