Strand­fontein ‘su­per­woman’ is SA’s tough­est fe­male fire­fighter

Cape Argus - - NEWS - Sisonke Mlamla

CAPE Town’s “su­per­woman” fire­fighter, Baigum Abra­hams, 24, who hails from Strand­fontein, is the reign­ing South African fire­fight­ing cham­pion af­ter win­ning the Tough­est Fire­fighter 2018 com­pe­ti­tion.

Abra­hams took part in the com­pe­ti­tion on Fri­day and Satur­day, and showed off some of her skills.

Abra­hams, who grad­u­ated from Ep­ping Fire and Res­cue Train­ing Academy a month ago, re­ceived the best over­all stu­dent award.

She ad­mit­ted that her in­spi­ra­tion grew af­ter she nearly burnt down her home when she was younger.

“I am happy to win this com­pe­ti­tion and proud to say the tro­phy and the medals be­long to the City of Cape Town and the peo­ple of Strand­fontein, who raised me,” said Abra­hams.

She won a tro­phy as the tough­est fe­male fire­fighter, two gold medals for re­lay and a cer­tifi­cate as a “su­per­woman”.

The com­pe­ti­tion in­cludes tasks re­lat­ing to fire­fight­ers’ jobs, such as the se­ries of ob­sta­cles, be­ing the fastest fire­fighter, run­ning up a 20-storey build­ing in full fire­fight­ing gear, and be­ing able to op­er­ate a fire en­gine’s com­plex ma­chin­ery cor­rectly when a house is in flames.

Abra­hams’ mother, Jas­mino Ra­wood, said she was cer­tain her daugh­ter would win the com­pe­ti­tion and she al­ways knew she would do it.

“Baigum is a very happy and proac­tive child and she loves help­ing peo­ple,” said Ra­wood. Twelve mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties from prov­inces across the coun­try send fire­fight­ers to the com­pe­ti­tion.

Or­gan­iser Ryan Abra­hams said the con­test was a com­bi­na­tion of com­pe­ti­tion, sport­ing event and a show of skills.

Fire­fight­ers demon­strated their strengths, co-or­di­na­tion and the phys­i­cal fit­ness they need for their de­mand­ing, ev­ery­day work.

City of Cape Town safety and se­cu­rity chief JP Smith said Cape Town was ex­tremely proud of its fire­fight­ers who par­tic­i­pated in this year’s chal­lenge.

“We are proud of all the com­peti­tors, but es­pe­cially of our City of Cape Town par­tic­i­pants, who re­ally shone.

“The per­for­mance of our fe­male fire­fight­ers is es­pe­cially note­wor­thy, given that we are cel­e­brat­ing Women’s Month,” said Smith.

The com­pe­ti­tion takes place across the world and al­lows en­trants from dif­fer­ent fire­fight­ing fields to en­ter.

The com­pe­ti­tion in­cludes struc­tural fire­fight­ers, bush fire­fight­ers and vol­un­teer fire­fight­ers, as well as avi­a­tion fire­fight­ing ser­vices.


GLORY: Baigum Abra­hams has won the Tough­est Fire­fighter com­pe­ti­tion.

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