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The City’s Disaster Risk Management Volunteer Unit has been given a boost following the donation of seven new trailers which will be used to strengthen its firefighting efforts. 

A year since the devastating South Peninsula fires in March 2015, the City of Cape Town’s Disaster Risk Management (DRM) Volunteer Unit today took receipt of seven new fire skid units – a donation made possible by the generosity of residents and corporates who donated funds to a radio-thon spearheaded by Primedia Broadcasting in the aftermath of the fires. The volunteer unit received just over R400 000 of the funds raised and used this donation to acquire the fire skid units.On 1 March last year, the City’s Fire and Rescue Service, together with other firefighting agencies, battled for six days toextinguish the largest vegetation fire in the South Peninsula since 2000. The fire started in Muizenberg above Boyes Drive and it spread to a number of areas including Ou Kaapse Weg, Noordhoek, Chapman’s Peak, Tokai, Constantia and Clovelly. A number of properties were destroyed.

Several resources were utilised to extinguish the fire and during that time residents came out in their numbers offering donations and raising funds for the volunteer firefighting services that were involved in the fire suppression efforts. The volunteer unit was one of the active participants, with one night seeing more than 70 volunteers on the front lines.  

The new fire skid units are fully equipped trailers, each fitted with a 650 litre water tank. The trailers also boast a twin-stage centrifugal pump, an aluminium locker for equipment (standpipe key and bar), a 30 m dragline hose and nozzle, as well as a further 120 m of canvas hose and nozzle. The water tank and hoses can easily be transferred to a bakkie and, given that they are more compact, the units can get into confined areas like informal settlements to fight fires more easily.

‘I would like to thank the residents and corporate sponsors for their donation. The funds raised have been used to procure much-needed equipment which will enhance the firefighting efforts of our volunteers. This equipment can also be used in instances of flooding, to clear waterlogged areas.

‘We have built a formidable volunteer base in the City of Cape Town over the years and we appreciate each and every gesture to help equip these men and women who dedicate their time and skills so selflessly in service of their fellow residents,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, Alderman JP Smith.

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