Cape Town fire fighters mourn the loss of one of their own
By Mervyn J Carolissen, divisional commander, Mitchell’s Plain Fire Station
The Last Call has sounded for fallen City of Cape Town fire fighter Thulani Gangatele. Born on 7 August 1984, he passed away on 10 November 2019. A memorial service was held on 18 November 2019 for ‘Cape Town’s Finest’ a servant’s hearted individual who placed serving others first. Fire fighter Gangatele was fondly known as ‘Thulz’ and served the community at Gugulethu Fire Station, which is part of South District, Division Two. This is one of the busiest fire stations and it serves a dense residential community. Gangatele’s career in the Fire Service started as a seasonal fire fighter on 1 December 2010 and he completed a few seasons before he became a permanent fire fighter on 1 October 2015. He wore his uniform with pride and loved his chosen profession. He was extremely fit and always ready for a challenge in the gym.
He passed all his training components whilst on his initial training course and was placed on operational duty, in December 2016 at Lakeside Fire Station. As result of transfers he was placed at Gugulethu Fire Station. He received his outcome of the advancement assessment to fire fighter, with the result successful.
On Tuesday, 5 November 2019, he suffered from severe headaches at work, after returning from a fire call. Medical assistance was summoned to the Gugulethu Fire Station. Thulz was given medical attention at the station and was subsequently transported to Vincent Palotti Hospital for further treatment. Unfortunately his condition took a turn for the worse and he went into a coma, as the medical staff could not stabilise his condition.
He was placed onto life support and passed away in the early hours on Sunday morning.
A fireman’s bell tolled in his honour and his helmet was handed over to his children and brother, who were present at the memorial service.
He is sadly missed by all who have known and worked with him, and witnessed his affectionate smile.
Source: Mervyn J Carolissen, divisional commander, Mitchell’s Plain Fire Station