Overstrand Fire, Rescue and Disaster Management acquires three brand new fire engines
On Friday, 12 February 2021, Overstrand Fire, Rescue and Disaster Management received keys for three new fire vehicles at a ceremony held at the new fire station in Mussel Street, Hermanus. Among the dignitaries attending, were the executive mayor of the Overstrand Municipality, Alderman Dudley Coetzee; Overstrand Municipal Manager Dean O’Neill, councillors, provincial disaster services officials as well as Overberg and Overstrand fire fighters. The event was opened with a word of welcome by the municipal manager, Dean O’Neill. He expressed appreciation and highlighted that “the vehicles received today, will increase the services rendered in the communities and will be helpful, to speed up service delivery in our communities”. At the start of the event, officials who lost their lives in line of duty were remembered. Chaplain Mark Robson prayed for all families and for all fire fighters affected and thereafter read a piece while everyone was requested to stand. He then gave feedback on the three fire fighters who got injured on duty, “two of them have been discharged and one is still in hospital and is progressing well”.
Chief Fire Officer Lester Smith stated in a message to Fire and Rescue International, “The vehicles were procured through Isuzu and conversions were done by 600CT. We made used of the ISUZU FTS 750 4x4 chassis and the vehicles carry 5 000 litres of water. There are equipment lockers along the side and they are fitted with one Waterax striker II pump and one Waterax B2X -23 pump. The vehicles will primarily be used for vegetation fires and to support the major pumpers at structural and informal dwelling fires.”
At the handover, Mayor Coetzee expressed his appreciation for the dedicated work done by our fire fighters under difficult and dangerous conditions. “We are always appreciative and grateful to the Provincial Government for the funding of firefighting vehicles and specialised equipment provided to the Overstrand Municipality, particularly as fire fighting is an unfunded mandate in Local Government. Consequently, Overstrand Municipality is not always in a financial position to allocate funding for fire fighting vehicles and equipment. The three vehicles taken into service today will assist in providing an improved fire fighting capability”.
In conclusion the Mayor extended his heartfelt thanks to all fire fighters and related personnel for their dedication and the service rendered to our communities.
The Provincial Disaster Management assistant director, Marlu Rust, followed with an overview of the involvement of the Provincial Disaster Management and said, “The Western Cape Department of Local Government through the chief Directorate Disaster Management and Fire and Rescue Services, aim to improve fire service delivery throughout the Western Cape. Since 2016, we have invested just over R57 million in the Western Cape fire services for the department and maintenance of fire fighting capacity throughout the Province. The contribution made over the past years signifies the commitment of the department towards establishing every single municipality in the Western Cape the ability to render a basic firefighting service as contemplated in the legislation. Municipal capacity grant funding creates the foundation on which the current and future fire chiefs can build healthy and well-developed fire brigades.”
“Over a period of two years, just over R6m was invested in the Overstrand municipality fire services through the municipal capacity grant funding programme. R5m was allocated in 2019/2020 financial year for losses, damages and cost incurred at the Betty’s Bay fire. In addition and in collaboration with the Overberg District Fire services, Greater Overberg Fire Protection Association (FPA) and Overstrand Fire and Rescue Services, we also initiated a pre-fire plan in the Pringle Bay and Betty’s Bay area, a concept used by Californian Fire in the United states and first of its kind in the Western Cape,” said Rust.
He continued, “This financial year 2020/2021 another R732 000 was also allocated to Overstrand Municipality for further development”.
He acknowledged that, over the few years, Overstrand Fire Services showed tremendous growth and development. He congratulated management on procuring some new vehicles. In closing, Rust said, “Fire fighters, please stay safe; use your vehicles and equipment diligently”.
Senior manager of Fire and Rescue, Disaster Management and Security Services, Lester Smith, gave the project overview and how this project was supported by the Overstrand Municipality. He said that “the project was implemented over two financial years (2019/20 and 2020/21). “Funding for the project came from the Provincial Grant and insurance claim, as well as municipal funding. Three vehicles where written off, a water tanker and pumping appliance due to old-age and regular breakdowns and the vehicle that burnt out during the January 2019 fires and these three vehicles are all 1980s models (1985, 1986 and 1987)”.
Chief Fire Officer Smith concluded that his department is thankful to the Provincial Government for the funding and the Overstrand Municipality for support during the procurement process of the vehicles.
Source: Overstrand Fire, Rescue and Disaster Management