“As we gather here today to commemorate International Firefighters Day, we pay tribute to the brave men and women who put their lives on the line every day to keep us safe. Our firefighters are the true heroes of our community, and their unwavering commitment and dedication to their profession is an inspiration to us all. As the Executive Mayor of Cape Winelands District Municipality (CWDM), I pledge to do everything in my power to support our firefighters and ensure they have the resources they need to carry out their duties safely and effectively. We owe them our respect, our admiration, and our gratitude.” Stated the Executive Mayor of the Cape Winelands District Municipality at today’s celebration held in Stellenbosch.
The 4th of May marks International Firefighter’s Day, which was established to recognise not only the dedication that firefighter’s show, but also to remember those who have paid the ultimate price in the line of duty.
The day kicked off with a formal motorcade lead by the cadets of the Cape Winelands District Municipality’s Fire Services Academy, followed by firefighting vehicles and crew. Fire Services from the Overberg, West Coast, Garden Route and the City of Cape Town joined the crews from the Cape Winelands, Stellenbosch, Breede Valley, Drakenstein and the Witzenberg to show their skills.
The formal salute and formalities concluded with the moving Ringing of the Bell Ceremony before teams gathered to demonstrate various firefighting techniques such as high-altitude rescue, extrication, hazardous material management and the ever-popular toughest firefighter challenge.
The event was well attended by members of the public as well as several partners such as CapeNature, Western Cape Disaster Management and several suppliers to the industry.
There is a great sense of pride and camaraderie among firefighters, which was perfectly captured in an overheard conversation between CWDM’s Chief Fire Officer, Wayne Josias and Chief Fire Officer, Royston Harris of Swartland Municipality.
While watching the demonstrations, Chief Josias turned to Chief Harris and proudly said, “Jissy, Harris your guys are looking good!”