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Learner firefighters earn their crests and axes

The class of 2024 was celebrated at a graduation ceremony at the Alphen Hall in Constantia today.

The Learner Firefighters started at the Fire & Rescue Service Training Academy in Epping on 5 June 2023, following a rigorous selection process that generated nearly 7 500 applications.

Among the prescribed courses that they had to complete, were:

  • Wildland Firefighting NFPA 1051
  • Advanced First Responder
  • Respiratory Course
  • Hazmat Awareness NFPA 1072
  • Firefighter One NFPA 1001
  • Hazmat Operations NFPA 1072

‘The group also had exposure to real-time incidents, under the guidance of senior staff, during the inclement weather experienced at the tail-end of the previous winter, as well as the very hot and incident-prone summer that followed. They were deployed to fight the devastating fires in the Overstrand area where they were on the fire line for six days. The fact that the learners all finished what they started is testament to their dedication to their chosen field, but also the quality of training on offer at our Academy.

‘Our new learner firefighters ought to be incredibly proud of their achievements, especially considering the initial number of applications. We are constantly reminded of just how critical a well-functioning Fire & Rescue Service is for public safety. I want to remind the new arrivals that they are about to take on a massive responsibility, and that Cape Town is counting on them,’ said Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, Alderman JP Smith.

The group will be deployed at various fire stations around the metropole from 10 June 2024.

‘This graduation ceremony comes just a week after Council approved the latest budget, which includes a sizeable allocation for ongoing investment in our Fire & Rescue Service. So not only are we driving increased resourcing and facilities, like the planned new fire station in Langa, but there are also ongoing investments in our human resources, for the benefit of our residents,’ said Chairperson of the Safety and Security Portfolio Committee, Councillor Mzwakhe Nqavashe.

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