WORKING ON FIREWorking on Fire manages an Integrated Fire Management Programme which includes fire management planning, detection, prevention, suppression, dispatch and coordination and community fire awareness activities.
Working on Fire is an Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) aimed at providing work opportunities to young men and women. The Programme resides under, and is funded by, the Department of Environmental Affairs.
Participants are recruited from marginalised communities and trained in fire awareness and education, fire prevention and fire suppression skills. In addition, they are also trained in skills such as first aid, carpentry, cooking, health and safety and communications.
Working on Fire recruits and trains young men and women from across South Africa, with a strong focus on marginalized communities and people with disabilities. There are currently more than 5000 participants in the Programme, 94% of whom are youth, 31% are women (the highest level in any comparable fire service in the world) and 3% disabled.
Working on Fire promotes capacity building among participants and runs various programmes, which help to develop the social cohesion of these participants. Empowering participants to make informed decisions, and also helping them with financial and social related problems, makes up a vital part of the programme’s initiatives.
Working on Fire History
The Kishugu Group (formerly known as the FFA Group of Companies) was awarded a tender by National Government in 2003 to implement an aerial and ground resource plan for fighting unwanted wildfires.
This was the first of its kind in South Africa and it took much research, both locally and internationally, to come up with a strategy which could be practically applied in the unique South African landscape. The result was – Working on Fire, officially launched in September 2003.
Working on Fire (WOF) is a South African, government-funded, multi-partner organisation. The Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) provides the main funding and structure for the programme and forms an integral part of the South African Government’s future planning for the custodianship of South Africa’s natural environment.