The city’s hard-working firefighters were treated to lunch last week to show appreciation for the work they do in communities across Cape Town.
The lunch on Wednesday March 27 was an initiative by the International WeLoveU Foundation, an organisation that carries out charitable activities to improve the well-being of the socially underprivileged such as children, women, senior citizens, the disabled, disaster victims, refugees, and the poor.
Between the beginning of November last year and the end of February this year, the City of Cape Town’s fire and rescue service responded to more than 13 000 incidents which include formal and informal residential fires, bush and grass fires as well as medical emergencies and other fire-related incidents.
The City’s mayoral member for safety and security, JP Smith, commended the firefighters for the contribution they make to ensure safety in communities.
He said in this coming year’s budget, the fire department will get more than a little bit of the cake, with additional firefighters and specialist vehicles to add more muscle on top of the two fire stations they’ll launch this year.
“With about 29 000 staff of the City, it’s easy to feel slightly neglected and overlooked. And for management, it’s easy to overlook people because there are so many people and the fire department is not a naughty department that constantly causes misery, they get on with just doing their job and it’s easy to forget that they also have needs and problems,” he said.
He thanked the International WeLoveU Foundation for the initiative and choosing the fire department.
Mr Smith said firefighters were the real heroes because they run towards danger to save lives and, property and limit damage.
“You are the real heroes as you battle a blaze while often at the same time coming up against elements within communities who do not appreciate the work that you do,” he said.
Firefighter Sekwati Ngapo said he feels appreciated and feels blessed for the recognition.
“One of the hardest things that people don’t know about this job is that you constantly have to transition from being your normal self to be in superhero mode within minutes. You think of victims, your team and because of injuries and accidents that happen while on duty, sometimes you don’t even know if you’re going to come back still alive,” he said.
The International WeLoveU Foundation is planning a number of activities in the country to show appreciation to the heroes on the ground such as teachers, firefighters, nurses, medical doctors, and police officers.