The City’s Fire and Rescue Service hosted a certificate ceremony for 91 seasonal firefighters on Tuesday April 23.
The use of seasonal firefighters is one of a number of interventions which were introduced by the Fire and Rescue Service to help navigate the management of fires in the warmer months, which is generally characterised by an increase in vegetation fires in Cape Town.
“Vegetation fires account for more than two-thirds of the incidents that our firefighters have to contend with annually. The situation becomes particularly tricky during summer when we have an increase in vegetation fires. Our seasonal firefighters are specifically trained for this type of incident and are a valuable resource, working side by side with our permanent staff to safeguard lives and to protect property. We thank them for their contribution to public safety in Cape Town,” said the City’s mayor, Dan Plato.
Each year thousands of hopefuls apply for the just more than 100 seasonal firefighter posts.
“Securing a spot in the seasonal squad is no easy feat. Apart from a tough physical assessment, there is also a written assessment and interview to determine the suitability of candidates for the job. I want to thank the seasonal group, who devoted themselves to their task over the last five months.
“I also want to thank our permanent fire and rescue personnel who have made the seasonal firefighter programme the success that it is, year after year. They can once again be proud of their efforts and leadership,” said the City’s mayoral committee member for safety and security, JP Smith.
Of the 114 seasonal firefighters who were originally recruited for the 2018/19 season, 15 secured learnership posts with the Fire and Rescue Service.
They are currently completing their eight-month training course. Ten others retired from the programme during the season.
“The seasonal firefighter programme has not only become a reliable resource to the Fire and Rescue Service but has also created the opportunity for those that have been trained and who have obtained the required qualifications to apply for permanent positions within the service.
“Some stand-out candidates over the years have managed to secure entry into permanent positions through this programme. This provides the opportunity for potential recruitment as and when the Fire and Rescue Service is able to take on new permanent staff,” said Mr Smith.