Cape Town - An additional 120 seasonal firefighters will be recruited for the upcoming summer season after various assessments.
About 1500 people would have been seen for their physical assessments by tomorrow and only 120 will be chosen. Individuals that successfully completed physical assessments will write a test next week in maths and comprehension.
A final interview will then take place to make the final appointments.
The new seasonal firefighters will focus only on vegetation fires.
City fire and rescue services spokesperson Jermaine Carelse said: “According to statistics there was a nominal increase in vegetation fires - 4778 occurred in 2017/2018 and 6670 occurred in 2018/2019.”
“Fires with accompanied weather such as strong winds and high temperature conditions has a major effect on fires at mountain slopes, farms and overgrown vegetation,” he said.
Carelse said the firefighters will work in four different fire districts, under the supervision of permanent staff. They will also assist with the daily maintenance of the hand tools and cleaning of firefighting vehicles and equipment.
They will also be doing preventative work such as the clearing of fire breaks which is critical when it comes to rendering the spread of wildfires.
They will begin their duties on November 1.
Divisional commander for training at Fire and Rescue Academy Makosandile Mbhokhwe said: “Firefighters are often low in capacity and this process will allow the new firefighters to assist us during the peak in the summer season. With the help of the new firefighters, extinguishing of the mountain fires won’t have to take weeks and rather a few days.”
The potential firefighters were physically assessed on a 1.9m reach test, a 2.4km run, 30 push-ups in 60seconds, 30 sit-ups in 60 seconds and had to carry two 25kg containers over a distance of 100m.
Mayoral committee member for safety and security JP Smith said: “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.”