Vulindlela fire rescue service a step closer

2010-02-10 00:00

A PLAN to build a fire station in the rural area of Vulindlela is being ­approached with urgency.

According to a report tabled for discussion during yesterday’s community services and social equity committee meeting, funds have been set aside for the construction and discussions about the tender process are under way.

In the report, fire and rescue ser­vices manager Billy Paton says the unit is concerned at “the absence of fire stations in the eastern su­burbs and industrial area of the city, and the Vulindlela area”.

“As you are aware, response times are critical in the life and/or property saving pro­cess of a reported emergency.

“Distance and traffic congestion from the city centre to these areas are a major factor.”

Paton explained that the prescribed maximum time between receiving a call and the arrival of the fire engine at the scene is eight minutes.

This, he said, is the prescribed attendance time for densely populated residential risk areas, the central business district and industrial and commercial areas.

For rural development areas, the maximum response time is set at 23 minutes.

Paton goes on to say: “While these attendance times are achieved in most of the city area, attendance times to Edendale, Vulindlela and Northdale are not achieved.”

Inkatha Freedom Party councillor Candy Seymour questioned why the three new fire engines bought and deli­vered to the Pietermaritz Street fire station came from a manufacturing company based in the United States.

“I still cannot, and will not believe that South Africa doesn’t produce proper fire engines for us to buy,” she said.

Deputy municipal manager for community services Zwe Hulane said the municipality also sources vehicles from local companies.

However, because the fire trucks contain imported parts, the waiting time for their arri­val would be more or less the same as those sourced overseas.

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