Here in the Mother City, we are no strangers to fires. We have seen fires devastate Table Mountain, levelled properties and even claimed lives. In 2015, the Western Cape experienced a record number of fires, and we are still reeling from the Devil’s Peak Fire of last March, which burned for days. From wildfires to regulated burns, the work of firefighters from both the Fire and Rescue Department and Volunteer Wildfire Services have been incredible. They work tirelessly to keep us and our surroundings safe.
According to News24, the City of Cape Town is in the process of designing two new fire stations for the Western Cape. These stations will be constructed in Masiphumelele and Sir Lowry’s Pass/Somerset West. Masiphumelele is particularly needed, as the area is prone to structural fires, and it will also service the South Peninsula, which has been ravaged by fires over the last two years. Construction on these statins is set to begin in the first quarter of 2017. In addition to this, 12 new fire engines and a boosted staff compliment are also on the cards.
The city’s security mayoral committee member JP Smith says a total of R13 million has been set aside for the fire stations, and the new fire engines will be the first of their kind in the country. They are able to travel on both urban and rural terrain, can pump 4 000 litres of water per minute, and are fitted with telescopic scenic lighting. These features will come in very handy when dealing with wildfires and calls to informal settlements, where lighting and a lack of roads are problematic.
We think this is wonderful news! After all the hard work our firefighters do, they deserve more resources and staff. Not only will these new stations and engines help firefighters respond to calls faster, they will help these brave men and women do their job more effectively, hopefully prevent another devastating #CapeFire.