Escalation in attacks on Cape Town firefighters a concern

2016-04-17 12:04
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Cape Town – The City of Cape Town has announced their concern with the rising number of attacks on firefighters when they respond to scenes.

This follows a string of attacks that first started in November of 2015 and was then believed to be an isolated incident. However, since then there have been several reported cases where firefighters are attacked when responding to the scenes of fires.

The City of Cape Town has raised their concern listing more than 15 incidents since October 2015 that saw firefighters become victims.

“We witnessed one of the most blatant instances when residents of Siqalo attacked firefighters responding to an incident in November last year,” Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security JP Smith said in a statement.

“The delay resulted in 15 structures being destroyed by fire instead of the four that were alight when the Fire and Rescue Service teams arrived.”

17 incidents reported

He said that since the start of the year up until April 4 at least 17 incidents have been reported in Klipheuwel, Khayelitsha, Retreat, Vrygrond, Dunoon, Elsies River, Manenberg and Nyanga where Fire and Rescue vehicles were stoned, forcing staff to retreat and robbing residents of a potentially lifesaving service.

“In what universe does anyone prevent a firefighter from doing their job and saving lives and property, unless that person has an agenda?”

Smith said that the response time gets reduces significantly when fire stations have to be closed for certain periods of time due to attacks.

“It delays the response to any incidents that occur during that closure when resources have to be dispatched from other areas,” he said.

He appealed to communities to show restraint and highlight their grievances without resorting to violence, threats or intimidation of the people who risk their lives on a daily basis in service of others.  

Read more on:    cape town  |  crime

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