Firefighters commended for going beyond the call of duty

Firefighters at the mid-year service commendation awards on Thursday September 2.

Thirteen firefighters received recognition for their work at the annual mid-year service awards, held at Roeland Street fire station on Thursday September 2.

Of the 18 award recipients, five of them – two firefighters and three members of the Quality Assurance team – were not present at the ceremony.

Chief fire officer Ian Schnetler

Chief fire officer Ian Schnetler said the ceremony was usually held as an event for firefighters and stations across the city, however, due to the lockdown regulations, the awards were held in smaller events at individual stations.

He said the service commendation awards were for firefighters who went above and beyond the call of duty, even though all the staff were saving lives everyday.

The mayoral committee member for safety and security, JP Smith, thanked the staff for all their hard work despite trying times during the Covid-19 pandemic. “The staff should get an award for every time they turn up, but for us it is business as usual.”

He commended the firefighters for maintaining discipline and professional standards that were “admirable”.

Mr Smith said the safety and security directorate had lost seven colleagues in the past five weeks, and the City of Cape Town were touching on 100 deaths among staff due to Covid-19.

He said while this has not been a good year with many taking ill and losing loved ones, he encouraged front-line workers such as firefighters to lower the risk of severe symptoms by getting the Covid-19 vaccination.

Jacques Swanepoel won the smart diver of the year award, and was also commended for helping fellow firefighter Denzil Anthony Benny to deliver a baby boy at Goodwood fire station in December last year.
Senior firefighter Denzil Anthony Benny was commended for delivering a baby boy at Goodwood fire station in December last year. Here he receives a fist bump from chief fire officer Ian Schnetler.
After putting out shack fires in Vrygrond, these three firefighters conducted an awareness drive, and helped a man replace some of his belongings which had been damaged in a shack fire. Here mayoral committee member of safety and security, JP Smith, pins badges of service commendation on firefighters Anthony Crown, Jonathan Williams and Rafel Wozniak.
These three firefighters were commended for the work they put into training and managing seasonal firefighters. Pictured are senior firefighter Siraaj Theunissen, stationed at Ottery fire station; Graham Damons, acting platoon commander stationed at Simon’s Town fire station; and firefighter Joshua Mozes, stationed at Mitchell’s Plain fire station.
The control room staff were also recognised. These dispatchers from the command control centre in Goodwood were commended for being the first port of call so that the firefighters are able to do their jobs. From left are Jovan Bester, Nazlie Calvert and Leanie Counter. Marilyn Booysen, Gaynor van Rooyen and Nicolette Wilma Isaacs were recognised in their absence.
Vusumzi Mzimvubu from the Goodwood Command and Control Centre took on the challenge of fixing little technical things that helped firefighters do their everyday work. He received an award for dedication, hard work and commitment.
Fire and Rescue Services spokesperson Jermaine Carelse was recognised for his role in the quality assurance team and was thanked for ensuring that news from the Fire and Rescue Service was shared with the media. Here, chief fire officer Ian Schnetler pins a badge on Mr Carelse.