Working on Fire’s North West teams are ready for Winter Fire Season

26 Apr,2018Training

From 9 April until 22 April, 17 Working on Fire (WOF) teams – consisting of 600 firefighters – attended WOFs Yellow Card Training Camps (YCTC) in the North West Province. On completion of these YCTCs, firefighters were issued with Yellow Cards, which qualified them to work on the fire line during this fire season.

WOF firefighters are professionally trained to suppress veld and forest fires and deployed throughout the country, depending on the time of year, to reduce the personal and economic harm caused by unwanted wildfires.  Wildland firefighting is, however, not without its inherent dangers and it is, therefore, vitally important for standards to be in place to ensure that the firefighters, who are permitted to go to the fire line, do so safely and effectively. These YCTCs are thus aimed at refreshing the firefighters’ skills and ensuring that they are mentally and physically fit.

During the Yellow Card passing out parade, the North West General Manager for WOF, Noluvuyo Mashologu, emphasised the importance of firefighters’ safety on and off the fire line. She thanked the firefighters for their efforts in ensured the province and its communities of WOFs readiness for the coming fire season.

Partners and stakeholders, such as the local municipality, Potchefstroom Fire Protection Association, North West Umbrella Fire Protection Association (NWUFPA) and South African Police Service attended the prestigious ceremony to celebrate the firefighters’ achievement.

The NWUFPA chairman, Dr Kobus Roux, gave a keynote address during the occasion in which he also thanked the firefighters for their unselfish and brave conduct when fighting to keep their communities and environment safe. “People should appreciate your work more. And on behalf of the NWUFPA, I want to reiterate our full commitment towards the programme, staff and firefighters and wish everybody a safe and successful fire season.”

As part of the ongoing fire awareness, the province will launch its Community Fire Awareness Campaigns in June. These campaigns are aimed at teaching communities how to be #FireSafe, prevent unwanted veld and forest fires, raise awareness of the risk of veld and forest fires and empower those at risk to take responsibility to reduce the risk and impact of fires in their communities.

Similar Yellow Card Training Camps are underway in other northern provinces to ensure that all of WOFs teams are 100% ready.