Where are the life-savers?

2008-03-26 00:00

Massive skills and staff shortages within the emergency services sector, together with growing crime and accident statistics, make it extremely difficult for firemen, paramedics and policemen to carry out their duties. More importantly, very few who go beyond the call of duty are properly recognised for all they do.

Nomathemba Malinga, who heads the debis Emergency Hero of the Year Award project, said this week that it was particularly strange that, despite the fact that this award is now seven years old, there have been very few entrants from KwaZulu-Natal and no winners so far.

She said that debis Fleet Management (dFM), a Mercedes Benz financial services company, had created the award to recognise emergency services personnel who went “beyond the call of duty to commit extraordinary acts of bravery”.

She said that there is a huge shortage of skilled emergency personnel, so recognising achievements could act as motivation for people to join emergency services.

Malinga said that nominations for 2008 are now open and asked members of the public, as well as the emergency services, to send in the names of those who had gone out of their way to help others and save lives.

The award is open to all emergency services staff. Nominations are also open to private security services.

The 2008 debis Emergency Hero of the Year Award winner will receive further training in his or her discipline, plus a cash prize. Category winners will also receive cash prizes.

Nomination forms can be downloaded from www.debishero.co.za or call Andrew Wagner on 012 677 5851. Forms must be faxed to 012 673 6050 or e-mailed to andrew.wagner@daimler.com. The deadline is on March 31.

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