Local heroes ready for challenge

2017-04-25 06:00
Warren Sam shows the firefighters how to cut through a bonnet using one of the cutting tools.

Warren Sam shows the firefighters how to cut through a bonnet using one of the cutting tools.

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A group of firefighters from across the city will represent South Africa at the upcoming annual World Rescue Challenge, which is set to take place in Romania later this year.

The team currently holds the South African champions title and therefore qualified to compete in the international competition.

Gugulethu Fire Station commander Virgel Cloete says the competition will take place from 30 August to 4 September.

The team is made up of three firefighters, one senior firefighter, two fire station commanders, one divisional commander and one platoon commander. They are currently training for the competition, but are also using the opportunity to train firefighters across the city.

“While in training we also pass on the skills that were acquired at the previous competition, which took place in Brazil, to ensure that all the firefighters in the city are up to standard,” Cloete says.

He says the competition is not all about winning and being the best, but is also a great opportunity to learn from more experienced firefighters from across the world.

“We see the competition as a training conference, as we engage and share knowledge and skills,” he says.

Cloete says the firefighters believe that “sharing skills is saving lives”. “We look forward to this competition and being able to represent our country, but also to push ourselves and see how we can better our skills and use what we learn at home.”

Last week the team trained other firefighters in car accident extraction – just one of the courses in which the firefighters will be trained before they head to the competition.

“We have a lot of work ahead of us before we are completely ready to take on the challenge, but we feel confident that we will be prepared to go against some of the world’s best firefighters,” Cloete says.

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