A day to honour firefighters

May 4 marks International Firefighters Day.

In celebration of International Firefighters Day, the Goodwood fire station opened its doors to the public yesterday, Thursday May 4, to honour firefighters and create awareness around its fire and rescue services.

International Firefighters Day is in memory of fallen firefighters, says Warren Sam, Goodwood fire station commander.

“It is also to honour the firefighters of today who put their lives at risk for the safety of our communities. We commemorate them and honour all firefighters,” he said.

Members of the public were taken on a tour of the station where they could view vehicles and equipment and learn about CPR and fire safety techniques such as “stop, drop and roll”.

“We are taking advantage of the day to not only show off but to let people leave with more education in order to help us be the first line of safety out there,” Mr Sam said.

City Fire and Rescue Service spokesman Jermaine Carelse said firefighters went through rigorous training.

“Some of the school children present want to become firefighters, and we are living the dream. At the end of the day, we appreciate when the public visits because we can improve their understanding of what we do.”

Elijah Lombard, 9, of Delft, who visited the station with his mother, Trixcy Lombard, said: “I had lots of fun visiting the station and enjoyed learning how to do CPR.”

Belinda Groenewald, from Hands of Hope, a non-profit organisation in Parow, visited the station because her organisation helps fire victims. 

“Hands of Hope delivers water, food, and clothes to families whose houses burnt down or to communities where there has been a fire,” she said. “We visited the station to see how they work because we would like to work hand-in-hand with them. If there is a fire we would like to assist.”

Ward councillor Roger Cannon said: “It seems like an easy job, but once you experience a fire and what firefighters have to endure, it is not that easy. We take our hats off and support them and admire them for coming forward and working in our communities.”

Mayoral committee member for safety and security JP Smith said the open day gave the public a chance to see first-hand what it took to face danger and save lives and property. 

Llewellyn de Lange, a senior firefighter, said he hoped those who visited the station would go home and share what they had learned. 

Firefighters demonstrate how they abseil down tall buildings.
Firefighters demonstrate how they extricate a passenger during a motor vehicle accident.
Members of the public were taught CPR techniques and what to do when someone is choking.
Riley Stevens, 8, of Delft wants to be a firefighter one day.
Trixcy Lombard and Elijah Lombard, of Delft, enjoyed their visit to the fire station.
Various Fire and Rescue Service vehicles were on display.