News / South Africa

Virginia Keppler
2 minute read
17 Mar 2017
6:11 am

Tshwane firefighting service receives massive boost

Virginia Keppler

Mayor Solly Msimanga revealed plans to upgrade the Rosslyn Emergency Station at a cost of R37 million.

Tshwane executive mayor Solly Msimanga handed over 18 rapid intervention vehicles, 33 ambulances and one Maxilance at the opening of the state-of-the-art Heuweloord Emergency Service Station in Region 4 on Thursday morning.

“At the same time, the city also showcased the human spirit by recognising the dedicated men and women in uniform who have been serving the department and the city over many years, ranging from 30 to 40 years. This is a great milestone to achieve,” Msimanga said.

“The new emergency services station will serve the Heuweloord, Olievenhoutbosch, Laezonia, Sunderlandridge, Mooiplaats, Laudium, Claudius, Erasmia and Wierdapark communities.

“It will also respond to motor vehicle accidents on the R55 and the N14 highway.”

According to Msimanga, there were plans to build a similar facility in Mamelodi, serviced by Silverton at present. The city also planned to upgrade the Rosslyn Emergency Station into a modern world-class facility.

Msimanga said the new facility, now a level one station, had cost R37 million.

“It will house the fire, rescue services and safety function to ensure a safe environment; emergency medical and disaster management services and a hazardous response unit,” he said.

“As the capital city of our rainbow nation, we do not only house the seat of government and other state departments, we host the most embassies and foreign missions.

“Therefore, the state of emergency services across the city should be fully capacitated and demonstrate that we are a capital city of one of the biggest economies on the African continent.”

He said the new vehicles were smaller and would improve budgetary savings.

They can carry 350 litres of water, delivered from an ultra-valve pressure system, and are fitted with TNT hydraulic rescue equipment – the jaws of life –  and a hydraulic cutter and hydraulic spreader “with an impressive force of 28 tons”.

Msimanga said national observations by the Fire Protection Association of Southern Africa – an association to which emergency services report their fire statistics – suggested that South Africans suffered losses of R1.85 billion due to fires last year.

“Burns are the second leading cause of accidental deaths. The most affected areas are residential properties, formal (4 986) and informal (5 191), and grass rubbish and brush fires (28 482), which account for 83.7% of all the cases,” Msimanga said.

“Among the most vulnerable to fire hazards are children from one to four years of age. They also constitute the second-largest casualties of burns.”

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