Shiny new fire truck for Knysna
Knysna fire chief Clinton Manuel was recently handed the keys of the fire department’s latest addition, a new fire engine, after an initiative started by presenter Dianne Broodryk of Jacaranda FM and the programme Good Morning Angels.
After receiving pledges from listeners, Broodryk contacted Danielle Steyn, founder of Marcé Fire Fighting Technology in Pretoria, specialists in firefighting equipment and vehicles, for assistance.
Manuel told Knysna-Plett Herald that he was contacted by the radio station and flew up to the Marcé factory during the fires, where he thought he was to receive donations of equipment. Never in his wildest dreams, he said, did he imagine that Marcé would be prepared to sponsor a vehicle.
At the advent of the fires, Steyn said she had been talking to her son Francois Steyn, the company’s vehicles specialist, saying how she wished there was something they could do to help.
When Manuel arrived and they gave him the grand tour of their factory, he said he kept returning to the partially stripped Unimog that was on the floor.
Steyn stated that her son had always said the former army vehicle had a special purpose and the duo decided to donate it to Knysna’s fire department, so they refitted, kitted and equipped it with the latest technology, with the assistance of funds to the tune of R225 000 collected from Jacaranda listeners.
The equipment on the vehicle is state of the art, right down to custom fittings to hold shovels and the hydraulic system to deploy and coil the hoses, pumps and communication capabilities. The vehicle, which has a value of over R1million, was completed and delivered to Knysna on a low-bed vehicle, provided free of charge by Paul Saayman. The handover took place on 27 September, during a live broadcast of Good Morning Angels, hosted by Broodryk.
When an emotional Manuel received the keys from Francois, who drove the vehicle to the fire station, he received a rousing applause from the firefighters and a municipal contingent, which included the municipal manager Kam Chetty.
The vehicle will be stationed at the Sedgefield fire station.
Its first job in the service of the municipality was to deliver a donation of R50 000 worth of library books donated by Round Table Southern Cape region, to the farm schools of Ruigtevlei and Redlands.
This donation is in addition to the contribution of more than R1-million made by the organisation towards fire relief in the Knysna and Eden District since June.
Werner Tome from Southern Cape Round Table handed the books to the municipal manager and the truck delivered them to the delighted pupils.
The latest addition to Greater Knysna’s fire department will be stationed in Sedgefield.
Fire chief Clinton Manuel (right) receives the key for the new engine from Francois Steyn of Marcé Fire Fighting Technology.
At the Ruigtevlei school book handover were (from left) school principal John Levenad, Peter Bester, Werner Tome and Clinton van der Vlis (Round Table Southern Cape region).