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Firefighter learnership opportunity for youth and women
THE City’s Fire Department recruitment process is currently underway to fill 30 learnerships within the Unit. About 1 600 people have been shortlisted of which 520 are female.

Chief Fire Officer Enock Mchunu said at the end of training the department may have more vacancies to fill and further decisions will be taken at that time. Shortlisted candidates will be assessed in six disciplines during the physical assessment process.

Speaking on the inclusion of women in the department, Mchunu said there was no longer a difference of gender in the profession as many women have proved critics wrong. “It is a profession for any person who is well disciplined as an individual and is capable of working in a team environment. The fire brigade is very strict in terms of discipline because we deal with people’s lives and there is no room for behaving in a manner that will compromise this,” he said.

He said firefighting is a physically demanding profession and aspiring youth must associate themselves with hard physical training regimes. “They must refrain from substances with a potential to affect their health and mental capacity. Youth must associate themselves with their local fire stations and can request to visit and spend time with firefighters to observe their routines,” Mchunu added. Explaining the important role firefighters play, he said they “save lives, property and render humanitarian services.” “Their daily work ensures a healthy and safe natural environment by controlling hazardous materials incidents like chemical spillages, toxins and other dangerous substances where members of the public would be exposed to, injured or even die.

They also rescue people trapped in motor vehicle accidents and animals trapped in trenches and on cliffs.” Mchunu said when fires break out they respond with confidence and at speed, enabling the adverse effects of fires to be minimised, thus saving lives and property. “To reduce incidents of fire and rescue, strict enforcement of building regulations and fire by-law enforcement is the order of the day. Firefighters conduct scheduled routine fire inspections.

Regulation of the erection and operation of major hazard installations is part of the work done to protect human life and prevention of property damage.” Mchunu said this was achieved after extensive technical training was conducted under extreme but controlled conditions on an on-going basis.

charmel.payet@durban.gov.za 
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