WoF gear up for the winter fire season

Nearly 300 WoF firefighters are to undergo training ahead of winter fire season.

The Working on Fire (WoF) Kishugu Joint Venture will undergo Yellow Card Training Assessments for firefighters (including Randfontein and Krugersdorp) and management to prepare for the winter fire season.

According to the general manager for WoF in Gauteng, Stephen Boyes, at least 289 firefighters will be expected to participate since it is a legal requirement.

“We have 15 teams across all the regions in Gauteng,” he said.

He added the assessments aim to certify firefighters’ mental and physical fitness before the start of winter fire season.

The firefighters will also perform exercises such as firewall, route march 10km, firewall, fire awareness education workshop, a 2.4 km run, pull, push, and sit-ups. Working on Fire firefighters must undergo these tests to perform the arduous task of fighting raging fires.

He further explained that participants without yellow cards may not battle blazes during the winter fire season.

Boyes then emphasised that the WoF programme implements Integrated Fire Management. He said the assessment would aid in reinforcing the occupational, health and safety of the firefighters. Kishugu fleet solutions are also assessing the drivers as part of winter fire season readiness.

“Firefighting is a dangerous job that 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,” Boyes said.

Thabo Kabai, a crew leader type 1 at Heidelberg base said that he is excited that assessments are taking place in preparation for the winter fire season.

“The assessments are full of strenuous physical activities. The topmost challenging activity is the route march which requires collective participation. This is intended to test the endurance of the teams and if they can withstand heat strokes. Alas, it gives me goosebumps,” Kabai added.

He said his team is preparing thoroughly for the assessment as one must be part of the fire season.

“All crew members are gearing to partake,” he concluded.

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