Injured Knysna fire hero becomes a father
Gaecious Maleke became a father on 6 July.
A Working on Fire (WOF) firefighter from the Bloemfontein Team, Maleke was injured in the line of duty when a burning tree log rolled over him during the fires in Knysna in the Western Cape.
He sustained soft tissue damage to his left ankle.
The baby boy has been named Hlonolofatso, meaning ‘Blessing’.
“I cannot describe the emotions I’m feeling but I would like to thank my team members from the Bloemfontein Base for making it possible for me to welcome my child into the world. They did not hesitate to risk their own safety to free me from being trapped under that tree log,” says Maleke.
Monde Ntobela, a Type 1 Crew leader, and First Aider Thabang Moeletsi, both from the Bloemfontein Base, received commendations from WOF Managing Director Trevor Abrahams for their bravery in assisting Maleke.
“It feels great to be recognised for the work that we do.
However, I must say that it was a team effort and that the whole team came together very quickly to help our injured team member andget him to safety,” says Moeletsi.
Ntobela says, “While we were on the fire line that evening we observed all safety protocols.
However, because we work under dangerous conditions, things happen that we cannot control.
That is what happened to Gaecious.
Because we wore our protective clothing, the injuries he sustained were minor in comparison with what could have occurred without it.