Firefighters thank public for awesome support

2017-06-22 06:00
=Uitenhage Fire Station commander Ewert Meyer looks at some of the cards of inspiration to firefighters, dropped-off by nursery schools.

=Uitenhage Fire Station commander Ewert Meyer looks at some of the cards of inspiration to firefighters, dropped-off by nursery schools.

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“The wind is picking up speed again!”

With these words Station Commander at the Uitenhage Fire Station, Ewert Meyer, was still on high alert as he looked at the sky, which for nearly ten days was covered in thick smoke from the devastating wildfires fuelled by strong winds.

Brave firefighters, men and women as well as volunteers worked tirelessly to protect lives, properties and the environment from this inferno.

Public salute firefighters

The public salute these firefighters and profusely thank them for their dedication. Masses of food items, clothing, blankets and necessities were donated to the fire stations. Cards with inspirational messages written by children to the firefighters were dropped-off by nursery schools.

Flames were high, but the helping spirit of the public was much higher and that is what builds responsible communities.

Donations kept spirits high

“From the depth of our hearts, we as firefighters would like to thank the people from Uitenhage and Despatch for their support,” said an emotional and thankful Meyer.

“Firefighters really suffered and battled against gale force winds, bad weather, immense heat and sky high flames. And let me tell you, one gets very thirsty and hungry out there!

“Hamburgers, soup, curry bunnies, energy drinks and sweets, you name it ... these food supplies were like manna from heaven. We continuously took these food donations to our firefighters and it kept their spirits high whilst fighting the raging fires,” said Meyer.

He said that a total of about 40 firefighters from Uitenhage were involved, around the clock in shifts, trying to dampen down the fires at Woodridge, Van Stadens Gorge, Elands River and the Rocklands areas.

The clothing received from the public was sorted by Susan van Schalkwyk from the Uitenhage Fire Station and distributed to people whose houses or shacks have burnt down.

“Thank you to each and every person for whatever donation you have brought to us. Your support gave us the extra boost we desperately needed and made it possible for us to do what we had to do under extremely difficult conditions - winning the fight against raging fires!” said Meyer.

What is also pleasing to Meyer is the growing need within smaller communties for advice and guidance from the fire station in how to mobilize themselves to help fight fires.

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