Gugs Firefighters back at work

2019-09-05 06:00
The Gugulethu Fire Station has been reopened after it closed in June.PHOTO: SIYABONGA KALIPA

The Gugulethu Fire Station has been reopened after it closed in June.PHOTO: SIYABONGA KALIPA

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The Gugulethu Fire Station has reopened after closing down in June due to protests in the area.

The closure was the third for the station in a period of a year.

Mayco member for safety and security JP Smith said following the first incident in July 2018, the fire station closed for nearly six months, the second closure happened in February this year and it was closed for three weeks.

In June this year, it was closed again after it was damaged in a protest.

On Monday 19 August the station opened again and the City is calling on residents to protect the facility.

“The staff was redeployed to Mitchell’s Plain Fire Station which meant that firefighters took longer to respond to incidents in Gugulethu,” said Smith.

He said the City has increased security measures including the erection of a fence around the property at “great cost”, in addition to the money spent on repairs from the damage caused by the attackers.

Smith said apart from the physical impact on the City infrastructure, such incidents take their toll on staff, many of whom are left traumatised.

He said while the City provides access to employee wellness programmes and trauma debriefing, the reality is that staff will take time off to recover which in turn affects the staff numbers and service being rendered to the community.

“We remind the community that turning on City staff who are there to serve them and meet their needs is self-defeating as the very same community are likely to bear the brunt of the impacts which are not often plain to see,” Smith cautioned the community.

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