Firefighters earn crests and axes

2018-07-26 06:01
Twenty-five of the City of Cape Town’s newest firefighter recruits have earned their crests and axes after an intensive selection process and training course.PHOTO: City of Cape Town

Twenty-five of the City of Cape Town’s newest firefighter recruits have earned their crests and axes after an intensive selection process and training course.PHOTO: City of Cape Town

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Twenty-five of the City of Cape Town’s newest firefighter recruits have earned their crests and axes after an intensive selection process and training course.

Would-be firefighters undergo a physical assessment that require them to go up against the clock and complete set exercises including pushups, sit-ups and a 2.4 km run.

Once they’ve cleared that hurdle, they have to pass a written assessment before attending a final interview.

Only once they have passed all of the selection criteria do they become learner firefighters­.

Once formally recruited, they undergo eight months of training that includes firefighting, hazardous materials awareness and first aid training.

Mayco member for safety, security, and social services, JP Smith says: “Firefighting continues to be one of those careers that capture the imagination­. It’s one of the things many young children tell you they want to be when they grow up.

“For these 25 new recruits, the dream is now a reality and I have every confidence that they will wear the uniform with pride and execute their duties in similar fashion.

“The residents of this city rely heavily on the service that our firefighters provide. A cursory glance at our fire statistics, particularly in summer, is the clearest indicator yet of how crucial this service is.

“But it’s not just fires – many of our fire stations are also the first port of call for trauma cases and our firefighters are also first responders in many motor vehicle accidents. So the uniform comes with great responsibility­.”

The 25 new firefighters, aged between 22 and 37, comprise 18 males and seven females, who hail from a range of areas including Khayelitsha, Delft, Philippi and Worcester.

They will be deployed to 12 of the City’s 32 fire stations. In the next week, they’ll undergo orientation at their respective stations, which includes getting their gear assigned, before starting active duty at the beginning of August.

The best overall students include Mthandazo Hafi (25), from Mfuleni, and Siyabulela Tase (29) from Philippi, being named as one of the most improved students.

“Investing in staff is important to the Fire and Rescue Service, because there is always a need to fill vacancies left by retirement or resignations and, of course, as our population grows, so too does the need for more firefighters. We will likely have another intake at the training academy during the course of this financial year. Next week, we will also be hosting trials for our seasonal firefighter posts,” adds Smith.

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