Fi­re­fig­h­ter te­ams lock horns in chal­len­ge

George Herald - - News - Mi­chel­le Pie­naar

It was all muscles and glo­ry w­hen 44 fi­re­fig­h­ters from a­cross the We­stern Ca­pe sho­w­ca­sed their skills in a chal­len­ge last Sa­tur­day at the Gar­den Rou­te Mall.

The day be­gan with a he­art­felt ad­dress and a "rin­ging of the bell" ce­re­mo­ny to pay tri­bu­te to the eig­ht fi­re­fig­h­ters who lost their li­ves in the re­cent fi­re se­a­son. T­his is a 200-y­e­a­rold tra­di­ti­on that is per­for­med wor­ld­wi­de by the fi­re­fig­hting fra­ter­ni­ty.

The 11 fi­re­fig­hting te­ams, in­clu­ding one wo­men's te­am from O­ver­berg, took part in chal­len­ges such as the "Ho­se Roll", the "Fi­re­man’s Car­ry" and the "Ty­re-flip". The te­ams re­pre­sen­ted the fi­re de­part­ments of E­den (two te­ams), O­ver­strand, O­ver­berg (two te­ams), S­tel­len­bosch, Mos­sel Bay, Ge­or­ge, Dra­ken­stein, A­c­sa Ge­or­ge and A­c­sa E­den.

De­mon­stra­ti­ons in­clu­ded an ex­tri­ca­ti­on from a vehi­cle ac­ci­dent, fi­re-fig­hting vehi­cles on dis­play and a pot­jie­kos com­pe­ti­ti­on with six te­ams ta­king part. In a sur­pri­se turn of e­vents, all fi­re chiefs we­re as­ked to par­ta­ke in a ho­se roll dis­play, much to the de­lig­ht of the cro­wd.

The win­ners of the te­am chal­len­ges we­re E­den Dis­trict Mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ty

(men's ca­te­go­ry) and O­ver­berg Dis­trict Mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ty (wo­men's ca­te­go­ry). The Ge­or­ge Fi­re De­part­ment re­cei­ved the cu­li­na­ry ho­nours in the pot­jie­kos com­pe­ti­ti­on.

E­den Ma­na­ger of Com­mu­ni­ty Ser­vi­ces C­li­ve A­fri­ca wel­co­med t­his e­vent, saying it does won­ders for the mo­ra­le of the fi­re­fig­h­ters who are still trying to co­me to terms with their ex­pe­rien­ces du­ring the Knys­na Fi­res in Ju­ne last y­e­ar. "They all re­cei­ved coun­sel­ling, but w­hat they've ex­pe­rien­ced was so hor­ri­fic, it ta­kes a long ti­me. E­vents li­ke t­he­se re­al­ly help them to feel sup­por­ted and ackno­w­led­ged by ot­hers." Ma­na­ging exe­cu­ti­ve of Oak­hurst In­su­ran­ce, Pe­ter G­rind­lay, said the con­tri­bu­ti­on of fi­re­fig­h­ters are of­ten o­ver­look­ed. "T­his promp­ted Oak­hurst to get in­vol­ved," said G­rind­lay. "The work that our fi­re­fig­h­ters do is so im­por­tant for our com­mu­ni­ty, and I re­al­ly be­lie­ve they are worthy of the hig­hest re­cog­ni­ti­on." Oak­hurst was a ma­jor spon­sor of the day.

See mo­re p­ho­tos at­or­ge­he­ The win­ning te­am: E­den won with a ti­me of 6 mi­nu­tes and 28,5 se­conds. From left are ma­na­ger of Com­mu­ni­ty Ser­vi­ces C­li­ve A­fri­ca, Fi­re Chief F­red­die T­ha­ver, E­den Ma­yor Me­mo­ry Booy­sen, E­mi­le Con­rad and his son...

Be­ne­dict T­heu­nis­sen of the Ra­ging Bulls, O­ver­berg’s te­am, shows his loy­al­ty. ABOVE: Cyn­die Vol­mink, a te­am mem­ber of O­ver­berg’s Fi­ref­lies, gets so­me help from Toy Au­gust of O­ver­berg’s men’s te­am to fas­ten a buckle.

Ge­or­ge Fi­re De­part­ment won the pot­jie­kos com­pe­ti­ti­on. From left are Ge­or­ge Fi­re Chief Neels Bar­nard, An­dré Nel­son and As­sis­tant Fi­re Chief of O­ver­strand, An­ge­lo A­plon.

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