Lorraine community equipped with fire trolleys

2017-01-25 06:02
From left are Peter Graham (Lorraine Neighbourhood Watch), Gustav Rautenbach (Councillor, Ward 8), Doem Erasmus and James Nongwana (NMBM Fire and Emergency Services).  Photos: ZELDRÉ STRAUSS SWANEPOEL

From left are Peter Graham (Lorraine Neighbourhood Watch), Gustav Rautenbach (Councillor, Ward 8), Doem Erasmus and James Nongwana (NMBM Fire and Emergency Services). Photos: ZELDRÉ STRAUSS SWANEPOEL

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A DEVASTATING fire in December has shown how community members in the Lorraine area can stand together in times of emergency.

The manner in which the community members assisted fire fighters throughout the ordeal also motivated the Fire and Emergency Department to place three mobile fire trolleys with the Lorraine Neighbourhood Watch to use in an event of a fire.

The municipality acquired 49 of these trolleys in 2005 and they were then worth R18 000 each. Some of the trolleys have since been placed in various locations such as informal settlements.

The trolleys have a capacity of 260 litres and the hose is 20 metres long.

“The placement of these trolleys with the Lorraine Neighbourhood Watch is to create a huge helping hand for the Fire and Emergency Department,” explained Doem Erasmus, Senior Divisional Head: Community Safety Division.
The Lorraine Neighbourhood Watch welcomed the placement and thanked the Fire and Emergency Services for entrusting them with the trolleys.

“Our neighbourhood watch was established in 2006 and as far as I know we are the longest standing, uninterrupted watch in the Bay,” said chairman Peter Graham. “We are a voluntary, self-funded organisation. We go way beyond fighting crime, and I believe that we have shown that in the event of a disaster we can work together. The fire trolleys would also assist us to be better prepared in future.”

Graham explained that the trolleys would be kept at the homes of committee members and that the Watch would have 24 hours access to them.

Ward 8 Councillor Gustav Rautenbach said that the trolleys would not only be for Lorraine only, but would also be used to assist in surrounding areas.

“The Fire Department has a huge staff shortage and even a shortage of vehicles. This placement will help the community to help the Fire Department by getting to a fire first and get it under control before the Fire Department arrives,” Rautenbach said.

Rautenbach added that the issue with overgrown private plots remains a headache and often veldfires get fuelled by overgrown areas. “Just last week there was another veldfire in our area. We are seriously looking into the possibility of arson being committed.”

Members of the Lorraine Neighbourhood Watch will receive official training in firefighting and first aid at the end of February.

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