Bravery awards bestowed upon bank of Lisbon building Firefighters

​The City of Joburg held the EMS Bravery Awards, at the Florida Fire Station, in Roodepoort, where fallen – and living – Emergency Management Services firefighters were honoured.


Johannesburg, South Africa – Last September saw the loss of three brave firefighters in a blaze that engulfed the Gauteng Health department building in the Johannesburg CBD.

On that fateful day, part of the crews who responded to the building fire, from Fairview and Central fire stations, were trapped in the building which resulted in the deployment of the EMS Rescue team, who successfully took them out.

The EMS Bravery Awards ceremony intends to recognize the often hazardous nature of the work firefighters do on daily basis and also honour their heroic deeds. The Executive Mayor Herman Mashaba, Public Safety MMC, Cllr Michael Sun and EMS Acting Fire Chief, Arthur Mqwa handed out Medals of Valour to the courageous men and women of Emergency Management Services who, on September 5 2018, braved the raging flames to rescue their own, and recover the bodies of the three fallen heroes; Khathutshelo Muedi, Mduduzi Ndlovu, and Simphiwe Moropana. The bereaved families were also made part of the ceremony.

“Whilst we had conveyed our condolences previously, we would like to take this opportunity to – again – send our heartfelt condolences to the families and the broader EMS family.”

At the time of the incident, allegations of equipment shortage and unavailability of required resources to conduct active firefighting emerged in the media space, this prompted the City to launch a series of parallel investigations to have clarity of what happened during the Bank of Lisbon fire incident.

EMS services over 30 000 fire, search and rescue, and medical calls a month. For us to efficiently and diligently deal with each and every call, all safety protocols (relating to equipment and personnel) should be observed – and that includes making sure that our staff are safe.

The City of Joburg instituted both Internal and external investigations by EMS Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHASA), EMS Forensic fire investigation unit and external investigations by Fire Protection Association (FPA) and the Department of Labour on the matter. Both internal and external investigations are still underway and the department will await the conclusions of the report with recommendations

The City of Joburg reassures the residents of the city that EMS management is committed to provide effective emergency services on a day to day basis without any disruptions.

Sources: City of Joburg
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