World Rescue
Photo Credit: City of Cape Town

The Cape Town Destroyers are on their way to the World Rescue Challenge in Lanzarote, Spain, to compete against the world’s best emergency and rescue services.


Cape Town, South Africa (12 October 2023) – The Cape Town Destroyers are the only South African team invited to compete in the event and have been training throughout the year. This included simulating possible scenarios in three categories.

There are three scenarios of 25 minutes each, where there are multiple patients to extricate while also rendering patient care.

The team is using the World Rescue format for the scenarios and using more complex training scenarios with door removals and roof removals; as well as patient care for multiple patients in conjunction with extricating other patients.

Photo Credit: City of Cape Town

‘The team consists of highly skilled extrication specialist firefighters, who are trained at rescuing victims from trapped motor vehicle accidents. Often during horrific motor vehicle collisions where victims are trapped and getting them to hospital becomes critical, it is a race against time and every second counts. Through exposure to new extrication techniques, it is another investment in knowledge and skills, which allows quicker extrication of trapped victims in horrific motor vehicle accidents,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, Alderman JP Smith.

The team was first invited to compete in 2016 and returned in 2017. They participated again in 2018 when the World Rescue Challenge was held here in Cape Town. In the 2019 competition in France, the team participated with new car technology where the vehicles were sponsored by Renault.

The international competition returned post-COVID in 2022, where the team again managed a top-ten position in Luxembourg.

World Rescue
Photo Credit: City of Cape Town

‘The challenge will be tough as this is the stage for the world’s best rescuers. The team will be learning from the teams from the other countries and be exposed to new methods of working, new equipment on the market and utilising these tools in the pits when doing the scenarios,’ said Alderman Smith.

The nine-person team boasts 176 years of experience between them and while they’re stationed at different firehouses, they train together to ensure they can compete in the World Rescue Extrication Competition.

The team will return and take on the role of trainer and mentor to the rest of the firefighters in the latest techniques and this allows the Service to upskill all its firefighters to render a more clinical extrication rescue to trapped victims.

All firefighters are trained on motor vehicle extrication skills and it is through exposure to highly technical and specialised techniques that they gain a better understanding and skill set, which allows for a more effective extrication coupled with patient care.

‘With more vehicles on our roads, motorists are exposed daily to the possibility of being involved in an accident. Should this happen, rest assured, there is a Fire & Rescue Service that can deal with such incidents. We wish the Cape Town Destroyers well and know they will make us proud,’ added Alderman Smith.

The team members are:

  • Incident Commander – Station Commander Morne Haskell stationed at Goodwood Fire Station, resides in Parow
  • Technician – Station Commander Warren Sam stationed at Goodwood Fire Station,  resides in Belhar
  • Technician – Station Commander Virgel Cloete stationed at Strand Fire Station, resides in Strand
  • Reserve Technician – Senior Firefighter Alvin  Kaliza  stationed at Goodwood Fire Station, resides in Belhar
  • Technician – Senior Firefighter Michael Gardiner stationed at Strand Fire Station, resides in Strand
  • Reserve Medic – Firefighter Robert Stamatiadis stationed at Lakeside, resides in Diep River
  • Main medic – Firefighter Gershwin Cloete stationed at Sir Lowry’s Pass Fire Station, resides in Somerset West
  • Medic – Firefighter Keenan Walters stationed at Milnerton Fire Station, resides in Belhar
  • Team Manager – District Head Operations Arlene Wehr

Sources: City of Cape Town
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Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

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