Category: <span>Fire Fighting</span>

31 May 2023 Media Release: Little Crosses Pre-Primary School visits Garden Route District Municipality’s Fire Services

Little Crosses Pre-Primary School visits Garden Route District Municipality’s Fire Services

For Immediate release
31 May 2023

The Garden Route District Municipal Fire Services were visited by kids from the Little Crosses Pre-Primary School on 26 May 2023. The event, described as an enjoyable experience where both learners and teachers were made aware and informed of very important basic fire safety dos and don’ts.

Senior Firefighters Henrich Leslie (left) and Kervin-Lee Gericke (right), with the kids from Little Crosses Pre-Primary School during the visit.

Firefighters loved every moment of educating and entertaining the little stars who have shown much interest in their field of firefighting. A presentation was done that included all fire safety elements around the home, at school, as well as what to do when noticing a fire elsewhere. In a fun-filled approach, learners were also taught the relevant emergency contact numbers of the emergency services.

After their ‘class session’ they enjoyed a little lunch and looked forward to what was to follow.

The most exciting part of the program was when water was sprayed from the high-pressure hose, so that the kids could experience and get a feel of what a firefighter does daily. Adding to these, they spent moments inside the vehicles, took a ride, heard the sirens, and saw the flashy red lights.

These little ones had a blast and enjoyed the visit at the GRDM fire station.

Facilitator of the visit, GRDM Senior Firefighter, Kervin-Lee Gericke, indicated how he enjoyed empowering the Garden Route youth and leaders of tomorrow.

The teacher from Little Crosses Pre-Primary School who accompanied the kids, Deveney Fember, conveyed words of gratitude to the GRDM team and said: “We are thankful to you and your team for the effort put into the day and making the outing worthwhile”.

                                                                  ______________________________________

Little Crosses Kleuterskool besoek die Tuinroete Distriksmunisipaliteit se Brandweerdienste

Die Tuinroete Distriksmunisipaliteit se Brandweerdienste was op 26 Mei 2023 deur leerders van Little Crosses Kleuterskool besoek. Hierdie gebeurtenis, was beskryf as ‘n aangename ervaring waar beide leerders en onderwysers bewus gemaak is, asook ingelig is oor die mees belangrikste basiese brand veiligheidsmoets en moenies.

Brandbestryders het elke oomblik geniet waar hulle die klein sterretjies geleer en vermaak het omdat hulle groot belangstelling in die brandweerdienste veld getoon het. ‘n Voorlegging was gedoen wat verskeie onderwerpe ingesluit het, bv. alle brand veiligsheidselemente rondom die huis, by die skool, asook wat om te doen wanneer ‘n brand elders opgemerk word. In ‘n prettige benadering, was leerders ook die relevante noodkontaknommers van die nooddienste geleer.

Na hul “klas-sessie” het hule ‘n ligte middagete geniet en uitgesien na wat volgende beplan was.

Die mees opwindende deel van die program was toe daar water vanaf die hoëdruk slang gespuit was, sodat die leerders ‘n gevoel en ervaring kon kry – dit wat die brandbestryders op n daaglikse basis doen. Hierdie kleinspan het ook ure spandeer in brandbestrydingsvoertuie, was op ritte geneem, sirenes gehoor, asook die flitsende rooi ligte gesien.

Die kleintjies het lekker gekuier en die besoek na die GRDM Brandstasie tenvolle geniet.

Fasiliteerder van die besoek, GRDM Senior Brandweerman, Kevin-Lee Gericke, het aangedui hoe hy dit geniet om die Tuinroete jeug en leiers van môre te bemagtig.

Die onderwyser van Little Crosses Kleuterskool wie die leerders vergesel het op hul kuier, Deveney Fember, het woorde van dankbaarheid oorgedra aan die GRDM span en gesê: “Ons is dankbaar aan jou en jou span vir die moeite wat julle gedoen het om hierdie dag moontlik te maak, asook om die uitstappie die moeite werd te gemaak het”.

ENDS

12 May 2023 Media Release: Fire Awareness session done at the “Draadkar” Festival in Hoogekraal

Media Fire Awareness session done at the “Draadkar” Festival in Hoogekraal

For immediate release
12 May 2023

Hoogekraal Primary School, together with Outeniqualand Farmwatch, the Hoogekraal Community In Blue, the South African Police Service and the Community Police Forum on, 6 May 2023, held a “Draadkar” Festival near George. The Firefighters from Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) presented a Fire Awareness and Education session to the community of Hoogekraal. As part of the session, the team explained and demonstrated the dangers of fires, how to prevent unwanted fires and how to respond to a fire that got ignited.

The activities were welcomed, as the firefighters used practical methods to ensure the community understood the topics that were presented to them.

It is envisaged that this initiative will become an annual event, whereby more community members and primary schools in the surrounding areas will be reached.

ENDS

12 May 2023 Media Release: Update 3 on the construction of the GRDM Fire Station

Media Release: Update 3 on the construction of the GRDM Fire Station

For Immediate Release
12 May 2023

The newly constructed Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) Fire Station is progressing swiftly.

The backfilling of the administration building is completed. The apparatus bay columns have been erected and work has progressed to the first floor beams which are being erected currently. The project is on schedule and managed by Kubeka Construction and Kantey & Templer.

ENDS

Related article: 

https://www.gardenroute.gov.za/2022/11/04/4-november-2022-media-release-state-of-the-art-regional-fire-station-expected-by-june-2023/ 

17 March 2023 Media Release: Update 2 on the construction of the Garden Route District Municipality Fire Station

8 May 2023 Media Release: Garden Route District Firefighters participate in the International Firefighters Day event

Garden Route District Firefighters participate in the International Firefighters Day event

For Immediate Release
8 May 2023

On Thursday, the 4th of May, International Firefighters Day was commemorated and celebrated across the globe.

The Cape Winelands District Municipality Fire Services hosted an International Firefighters Day Event, inclusive of a vehicle parade, drill marches, equipment capability displays, demonstration of technical skills, a Firefighter fitness and skills competition, as well as a Firefighters ball.

Garden Route District Municipality’s (GRDM) Fire Services, including many other municipalities supported the event in making a success of the day by acknowledging the efforts of firefighters and volunteer firefighters, as well as remembering those who have died in the line of duty.

In the firefighter fitness and skills competition, GRDM team achieved a 4th place. The top achievers were as follows:

  • 1st place: Seavuna
  • 2nd place: Overstrand Municipality Fire & Rescue Services
  • 3rd place: Hessequa Municipality Fire & Rescue Services

Well done to the GRDM team and congratulations to the winners, as well as to the local team, Hessequa Municipality, with their achievement of 3rd place!

Feature Image: Garden Route District Firefighters (fltr), Emile Conrad, Grant Gericke, Jonathan van Vuuren, Branville Abrahams, Petrus Jordaan and Martino Jacobs, at the Cape Winelands International Firefighters Day event.

ENDS

 

27 March 2023 Media Release: Fire Emergency Evacuation Drill Training conducted at the Frail Care Centre

Media Release: Fire Emergency Evacuation Drill Training conducted at the Frail Care Centre

For immediate release
27 March 2023

Emergency Evacuation starts with any notification of fire or other emergency, including the activation of alarm (an installed fire protection system, which ensure that occupants of the building or premises are timeously notified) to which occupants are then required to evacuate as soon as possible; preferably in the safest and most orderly manner.

Firefighters from Garden Route District Municipality, with residents and staff of Lyttleton Frail Care Centre in George soon after the fire drill.

GRDM Fire Services were requested to assist the Lyttleton Frail Care Centre in George with training in this regard. The visit to the establishment took place on 22 March 2023. As part of the training, officials carried out a thorough size-up of the premises and inspected the building to ensure they acquired a proper assessment of all applicable elements. The GRDM team was warmly welcomed by the occupants and staff on their arrival and the elderly were brave enough to enjoy the little action facilitated by the GRDM team.

Lyttelton Frail Care Centre is a 24/7 establishment that accommodates 25 vulnerable occupants and 30 personnel (on and off basis).

“Awareness, Information and Education is the ultimate goal to ensure owners and occupants operate as safely and timeously upon the notification of fire, and how the process of Evacuation is conducted. Occupants are immediately made aware of the do’s and the don’ts in the case of fire occurrence and / or ignition within a building,” said Acting Station Officer: Fire & Safety and Training at Garden Route District Municipality’s Fire Services, Heinrich Leslie.

Manager of the Centre, Stefan du Toit, expressed his gratitude to the team and he indicated that they “will now be able to rectify and improve on what was discussed during the briefing”.  Adding to these words, Du Toit highlighted: “We are grateful that we could experience a fire drill and that the Garden Route District Fire Services Team made an effort to visit our facility in a friendly manner while at the same time equipping us with the necessary skills needed to be ready for any fire outbreaks at any time ”.

“The team of GRDM Fire Services, and especially the learner firefighters who were present also enjoyed and learned from the experience as well,” said Leslie.

Gallery: Firefighters from Garden Route District Municipality, with residents of the Lyttelton Frail Care Centre during the fire drill facilitated by the firefighting team.

ENDS

17 March 2023 Media Release: Update 2 on the construction of the Garden Route District Municipality Fire Station

Media Release: Update 2 on the construction of the Garden Route District Municipality Fire Station

For immediate release
17 March 2023

The newly constructed Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) Fire Station has progressed relatively well despite the good rains influencing the excavated trenches which were filled with water on more than two (2) occasions. This resulted in re-evaluating of the filling work (G7) and additional foundation work required for the main structure. Depending on weather conditions, filling will be completed by next week, and formwork will be completed by the following week.

The secondary building, which is known as a “Ground Crew Building”, planned for a specialist firefighting ground crew has progressed well with brickwork completed up to ground level.

This project is being managed by local companies, Khubeka Construction and Principal Agent and Kantey & Templer.

-ENDS-

Related article: 

https://www.gardenroute.gov.za/2022/11/04/4-november-2022-media-release-state-of-the-art-regional-fire-station-expected-by-june-2023/ 

8 February 2023 Media Release:  Construction of the new Garden Route District Municipality Fire Station underway

8 February 2023 Media Release:  Construction of the new Garden Route District Municipality Fire Station underway

Media Release:  Construction of the new Garden Route District Municipality Fire Station underway

For immediate release
8 February 2023

On 2 February 2023, the construction of the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) Fire Station commenced.

Due to several compliance matters, the construction of the site was delayed over December and reschedule to start last week. Locally based building contractor, Khubeka Construction CC, has officially commenced work on site and it is all systems go for the project.  This exciting GRDM project will be overseen by a local engineering consultant, Kantey and Templer (Pty) Ltd.

Bearing in mind the delays in the project, a new completion date is set for the 30th of November 2023 with the official handover of the Fire Station envisaged for the 01st of December 2023.

Related article:  https://www.gardenroute.gov.za/2022/11/04/4-november-2022-media-release-state-of-the-art-regional-fire-station-expected-by-june-2023/ 

-END-

9 December 2022 Media Release: Garden Route DM is installing 700 smoke detectors in Kannaland

Media Release: Garden Route DM is installing 700 smoke detectors in Kannaland

For Immediate Release
9 December 2022

The Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) firefighters in collaboration with the Kannaland local municipality’s firefighters installed early smoke detection devices in Varkieskloof, an informal settlement in Ladismith during the past week. A total of 700 devices will be installed in Kannaland municipal area by the GRDM. The outlying areas such as Calitzdorp and Van Wyksdorp will also follow.  It is expected that the project will take at least three months to complete.

The smoke detection device project kicked-off earlier this year, when GRDM installed 1368 smoke detectors in Qolweni and Bossiesgif informal settlements in the Bitou municipal area, after several informal structures were destroyed by fire, which resulted in the deaths of three (3) Garden Routers.

The GRDM’s Disaster Management and Fire and Rescue Services are managing and implementing the project.  Over the past two day, ±178 smoke detectors were installed focusing on structures in the rural settlement.

Having a smoke detector in the home not only alerts residents to the presence of smoke, but also saves lives and minimises property damage.

Afrikaans

Die Garden Route Distriksmunisipaliteit (GRDM) se brandbestryders in samewerking met die Kannaland plaaslike munisipaliteit se brandbestryders het die afgelope week ‘vroeë rookopsporingstoestelle in Varkieskloof, ‘n informele nedersetting in Ladismith, geïnstalleer. Altesaam 700 toestelle sal deur die GRDM in Kannaland geïnstalleer word. Die buitegebiede soos Calitzdorp en Van Wyksdorp sal ook later volg. Daar word verwag dat die projek minstens drie maande sal neem om te voltooi.

Die rookopsporingstoestelprojek het vroeër vanjaar afgeskop toe GRDM 1368 rookverklikkers in Qolweni en Bossiesgif informele nedersettings in die Bitou munisipale gebied geïnstalleer het, nadat verskeie informele strukture deur brand vernietig is, wat tot die dood van drie (3) inwoners gelei het.

Die GRDM se Rampbestuur en Brand- en Reddingsdienste bestuur en implementeer die projek. Oor die afgelope twee week ±178 rookverklikkers geïnstalleer met die  fokus op strukture in die landelike nedersetting.

Om ‘n rookverklikker in die huis te hê, waarsku nie net inwoners van die teenwoordigheid van rook nie, maar red ook lewens en verminder eiendomskade.

-End-

9 December 2022 Media Release: GRDM is gearing up for the SUMMER SEASON!

Media Release: GRDM is gearing up for the SUMMER SEASON!

For Immediate Release
9 December 2022

In preparation for the Summer season, Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) Fire Services hosted a joint Integrated Fire Management launch with district partners on Thursday, 01 December 2022.

A wide range of intergovernmental stakeholders attended the event, including representatives from the Department of Forestry, Fisheries & the Environment, Cape Nature, San Parks and GRDM Disaster Management.  Also in attendance were representatives from PG Bison Forestry, MTO Forestry, Kishugu Aviation (WOF), Working on Fire, and Nelson Mandela University.

The Executive Mayor of GRDM, Alderman Memory Booysen delivered the keynote address during which he emphasised the need for stronger collaboration and integration between the different stakeholders. “This will ensure better preparedness for the task at hand, as we deal with fires in a preventative rather than a punitive manner,” he said.

In his remarks, Mayor Booysen acknowledged the role played by the different stakeholders and noted the fact that there is no longer a beginning or end to the annual ‘fire seasons,’ especially in light of climate change.  He referred to the fuel loads in the region as a massive risk and called upon all governmental stakeholders to work better together. “Our discussions must shift to preparedness.  District Mayors need to address the fuel loads on all their various platforms.  It is imperative that fires are detected early, and we ought to use the technology available, such as cameras and satellites, to assist in the response and preparation,” he said.

In conclusion, Alderman Booysen mentioned that the work of the firefighting fraternity is not unnoticed, and the challenges they faced are well known to the district’s mayors. He praised the Working on Fire Program and pointed out how these firefighters walk, on the N2 and in the mountains, as a sign of their care and devotion.

Frank Smook, of WoF/Kishugu Aviation, spoke about coordinated operations and noted that Denneoord Airbase will be home to two Command & Control planes, two AT802 Bomber planes, and a helicopter. The importance of having all agencies working and pulling together was stressed by him. Also the importance of having fire apparatus and aerial resources ready at all times, as well as knowing your region’s fire danger index on any given day. Smook explained the significance of activating an aerial firefighting response, such as an initial attack, as soon as smoke is detected in high-risk areas, in order to suppress a fire quickly and efficiently. Lastly, he said good communication is essential, particularly WhatsApp groups, which assist in coordination and can be utilised for communication amongst agencies.

The Southern Cape Fire Protection Association’s Dirk Smit explained the importance of having sound systems in place, alluded to efforts to improve Integrated Fire Management, creating platforms to address the real issues and reinforcing partnerships in our region to make a difference.  He also pointed out that firefighters’ safety is very important and that this aspect must be a priority to ensure that they can perform the tasks at hand. He wished everyone a safe season.

In conclusion Deon Stoffels, GRDM Chief Fire Officer started his address as follows: “First and foremost, we are here to protect people and property, but it is equally vital to protect the environment, which provides a wealth of natural resources essential to the economy of the region, and that collaboration is imperative between stakeholders in fire management. Whilst protecting the urban areas, it is also equally important to protect the rural areas, including farmers and farm workers, crops, vineyards and infrastructure,” he said.

The Summer Season Operational Plan, inclusive of all stakeholder’s resource availability are in place and ready to be activated for each respective jurisdictional area when and if the need arises.

A special recognition was given to the Provincial Disaster Management Centre for the ‘PDMC First Hour’. This is available to the District for a period of 01 December 2022 to 31 March 2023 to ensure rapid aerial firefighting resources could be activated upon vegetation or mountain fire detection.

Fire Safety & Prevention is everyone’s responsibility and the public is urged to apply caution in their own individual spaces. It is however vitally important to alert the Fire Brigade Services immediately upon detecting any form of fire breakout.

-End-

7 October 2022 Media Release: Former Garden Route District Municipality Senior Firefighter, Denver Moses, passes away

Media Release: Former Garden Route District Municipality Senior Firefighter, Denver Moses, passes away

7 October 2022

Early this week, on 4 October 2022, a former Fire Senior Firefighter of the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM), Denver Moses, sadly passed away at the age of 49. Denver served the Garden Route district for a period of 14 years until 31 August 2022. Prior to him joining the GRDM firefighting team on 18 August 2008, he was also a firefighter at the City of Cape Town.

Moses was described by members of the GRDM Control Room as tall, friendly and calm with a generous personality – the same every day. “It was an extremely sad day on 22 September 2022, when we visited him. He held our hands and he spoke softly. In his eyes we could see he was fighting a difficult battle,” Tippie Bouwer, Control Room Supervisor said. Another colleague said: “He was taken from us at an unexpected time and he will be dearly missed”.

GRDM Chief Fire Officer, Deon Stoffels, described Moses as respected amongst his fellow firefighters. Young firefighters looked up to him. He also had a passion for training members of the public in fire safety. He was known by many names – “Oom”, “Mosie”, “Mola”, “Mr Moses”. “He earned respect not by demanding it, but just by the way he carried himself,” said Stoffels.

Edwin Lottering a former GRDM Senior Firefighter also said: “I will miss his late-night calls, stories and advice”. Heinrich Leslie, also a former colleague said Denver was a natural leader – passionate about firefighting. “He had the experience to take informed risks.” Leslie further described Denver as someone who didn’t spoon-feed others. “He was to the point and would tell you when you had to take control of a wildfire while he searched by foot for signal to report back to the control room”. Adding to this, he said: “When I think about these incidents, he instilled a mindset in all of us to take charge while staying safe during a wildfire”.

Rest in Peace Denver,
Your service to the Garden Route district will always be remembered and cherished.

“Firefigters never die, they just burn forever in the hearts of the people whose lives they save” – Susan Diane Murphree

A prayer session will be hosted by the Garden Route District Municipality at the municipality’s Council Chambers on Friday, 7 October 2022 at 10h00am. 

Members of the public are invited to view the proceedings through zoom at: https://gardenroute.zoom.us/j/99804471776?pwd=Mk9Nc2RsWDNHNTN4SHZVRUlHMEVLZz09

or through the municipality’s YouTube channel at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n8PPLIw2mb4