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Firefighters to embark on training assessments

Firefighters are preparing for the winter fire season.

The Working on Fire-Kishugu Joint Venture is embarking on training assessments for firefighters and management to prepare for this year’s winter fire season.

Currently, 289 firefighters at the Working on Fire programme are doing the yellow card training assessments in Gauteng.

Kishugu Training Academy is assessing the firefighters to prepare for the winter fire season. The assessment aims to certify the firefighters’ mental and physical fitness before the start of the fire season.

The firefighters will perform various exercises, such as a 10km route march, firewall, fire awareness education workshop, a 2.4km run, pull, push, and sit-ups.

The Working on Fire firefighters must undergo these tests.

“We expect at least 289 firefighters to participate, and it is a requirement to complete the assessment to be allowed to assist in fighting fires. We have 15 teams across all the regions in Gauteng,’’ said Stephen Boyes, the general manager for Working on Fire in Gauteng.

“Participants without yellow cards cannot battle blazes during the winter fire season.

“The assessment would aid in reinforcing the firefighters’ occupational, health and safety.”

Kishugu fleet solutions will also assess the drivers as part of winter fire season readiness.

‘‘Firefighting is dangerous and requires maximum discipline and knowledge about health and safety on and off the fire line. Part of the assessments is heightening awareness of their safety. Their safety is my number one concern,’’ said Boyes.

He is excited that assessments are happening in preparation for the winter fire season.

‘‘The assessments are full of Herculean and physical activities. The topmost challenging activity is the route march, which requires collective participation. It aims to test the teams’ endurance and if they can withstand heat stroke. Alas, it gives me goosebumps,’’ said Thabo Kabai, a crew leader type 1 at the Heidelberg base.

“My team is thoroughly preparing for the assessment because readiness for the fire season is crucial. All crew members are gearing to partake.”

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