In a first-ever, an all-female firefighting team has assembled ahead of the annual Cape Town fire season. According to CapeTalk, the crew is made up of 15 female graduates from the Chrysalis Academy in Tokai.
According to their website, “the Chrysalis Academy (CA) is an initiative of the Western Cape Provincial Government, set up in the year 2000. It is a youth development academy regarded as a flagship project in innovative youth development.”
Most of the all-female team were unemployed before enrolling in the academy. The NCC Environmental Services, who are an entity that help various national parks with firefighting, has a spot leader that will be in charge of the crew.
In a Facebook post, the NCC said: “NCC Environmental Services, in partnership with Chrysalis Academy, Tokai, the US Consulate General Cape Town and the Department of Community Safety in the Western Cape, is embarking on an exciting journey to uplift and empower fifteen women by training and employing them as wildland firefighters.”
The crew will be named the All Woman Wildland Firefighting Project and according to the NCC Environmental Services, 90% of the crew are from households in Phillipi, Retreat, Mfuleni, Khayelitsha, Capricorn Park and Macassar, where they are the bread-winners.
“They have all completed a 3-month course at Chrysalis Academy, where they received holistic training and development opportunities. NCC will now take this a step further and provide them with occupationally directed firefighting training and provide experiential opportunities,” said NCC Wildlife Services.
The crew completed a 3-month course at the academy. The NCC has ensured that this training will be translated into “occupationally directed firefighting training and provide experiential opportunities.”