On Friday, 28 July 2023, the Cape Winelands District Municipality’s Fire Services took delivery of their state-of-the-art, custom-designed mobile Incident Command (IC) bus in Stellenbosch.
Ald (Dr) Elna von Schlicht, brimming with enthusiasm, expressed her delight with this enhancement of the fleet. She stated, “I am ecstatic about this new addition to our fire services fleet that will undoubtedly make a positive impact on how we protect and serve our communities when they are most vulnerable.” The customised vehicle was handed over by Ramcom Cape, the service provider responsible for the exceptional design and assembly of the IC bus.
This vehicle will be instrumental during the Cape Winelands fire season that runs from November to April, when the district experiences wildfires for which the district municipality provides specialised firefighting services to extinguish mountain, veld and chemical fires.
The IC bus will enable the CWDM, its partners and other role-players to come together in an easily accessible vehicle and effectively predict, plan and initiate mitigation actions in response to major incidents that pose a threat to the community and property.
The simplistic design with a modernised workspace includes features such as a 10-seat conference area and a 145 cm, fully computerised interactive screen and whiteboard walls. There are ample electrical outlets inside and outside the vehicle, which is fitted with an inverted generator and a solar system on the roof for uninterrupted electricity supply, specially in remote locations. Wi-Fi network connectivity with backups in case of disruptions and compatible two-way radio connectivity are supplemented by centralised air-conditioning, a microwave and a fridge to ensure that all stakeholders are comfortable during operations.
The bus has specifically been designed to meet the needs of the Incident Command System (ICS) structure, providing sufficient space for the top structure of the ICS to convene and accommodating other relevant members of the ICS during briefing meetings, if need be. The ICS is a standardised approach to the command, control and coordination of the emergency response of individual agencies during major incidents of disaster and/or major planned events.
With the introduction of this state-of-the-art IC Bus, the Cape Winelands District Municipality’s Fire Services reinforces its commitment to enhance emergency response capabilities and to safeguard the wellbeing of the community during challenging times.