Cape Town – The city of Cape Town was set to receive two new fire stations, 12 new fire engines and boosted staff, a city official said on Sunday.A total of R13 million each had been set aside for stations in Masiphumelele and Sir Lowry’s Pass/Somerset West, said the city’s safety and security mayoral committee member, JP Smith.Now in the design phase, construction was expected to start in the first quarter of 2017 and finish towards the end of 2018.“The Masiphumelele project is especially crucial. The area is prone to devastating structural fires, as we’ve witnessed in previous years," said Smith.“The South Peninsula has also been ravaged by a number of vegetation fires over the last two summer seasons, so another fire station in this part of the metro is a no-brainer.”New fire engines for fleetHe said firefighters would be able to get the scene quicker and save lives and property.The other station would service Somerset West and Sir Lowry’s Pass Village. Smith said an existing facility in Somerset West was not a fire station but a converted workshop with space for staff and administrative duties.The city planned to add 12 fire engines to its fleet, at a cost of around R3 million each.“They are the first of their kind in South Africa and are able to traverse both urban and rural terrain,” said Smith.The new fire engines had GPS, tiptronic gearboxes and could pump 4 000 litres per minute at 10 bar. The vehicles are fitted with telescopic scene lighting, useful in informal settlements and on freeways.Boost staffSmith also mentioned a number of initiatives to boost staff.He said 484 applicants were in the process to become learner-trainee firefighters. Successful recruits would start an eight-month training course in October.At the same time, 43 previous trainee firefighters would be deployed on a full-time basis.From December until April next year, 120 seasonal firefighters would assist professional firefighters.“We are doing all that we can to make this a safer city, but we need residents to assist us by becoming more fire-aware and work with us to curb the number of preventable fires that are sadly all too common,” said Smith.