Fire Fit to fight fires: Cape Town gearing up to fight wildfire!

The City’s Fire and Rescue Service is once again putting seasonal firefighter hopefuls through their paces with the requisite physical assessments, which is the first step to finding 120 seasonals to help boost efforts to fight wildfires during the warmer months.


Cape Town, South Africa – The successful Seasonal Firefighter Programme is an annual intervention designed to boost the City’s firefighting capacity to address the challenges posed by wildfires during the warmer months.

The physical assessments are being held this week. In the first two days, 525 applicants participated in the assessment – 241 of whom successfully completed it and will next participate in a written assessment to test mathematics and comprehension. That is then followed by an interview before the final appointments are made.

‘Fighting fires is demanding, and the City needs to ensure that those who will be responding to the many emergency calls are competent and mentally and physically fit to be on the fire line. Although the primary objective is to protect lives and property, the City’s Fire Service also has a responsibility to ensure that seasonal firefighters have a high level of fitness and are up to the demands of the working environment,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, Alderman JP Smith.

During the physical assessments, applicants are subjected to a 1,9 meter reach test, a 2,4 kilometre run (males to complete in under 12 minutes; females to complete in under 13 minutes), 30 push-ups in 60 seconds, 30 sit-ups in 60 seconds and carrying two 25 kilogram containers over a distance of 100 metres.

The seasonal firefighters will report for duty on 1 November 2019 and will work under the close supervision of permanent firefighters in responding to vegetation fires. As part of their daily routine at the fire station where they will be based, they are required to attend to maintenance tasks such as the inspection and cleaning of firefighting vehicles and equipment.

Apart from assisting in firefighting operations, they will also be doing preventative work such as the clearing of fire breaks. Fire break maintenance is crucial to curbing the spread of wildfires.

‘The City’s Fire and Rescue Service has earned the trust, admiration and appreciation of many communities for their tireless efforts in safeguarding lives and property. The seasonal firefighters have had a hand in developing that reputation, and I am sure they’ll serve us with distinction again this year. To those who have already been assessed, and made it to the next stage, congratulations. To those who must still be assessed, I say all the best, and to those who didn’t make it, you now know what it takes and if you feel that you have it in you to crack the physical assessment, please do try again next year,’ said Alderman Smith.

Check out some of the pics below:

Sources: City of Cape Town 
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