SS Gida Hospital which serves several rural areas around Keiskamnahoek thanked the Cata Working on Fire team who carried out prescribed burning in their area earlier this month. The team’s Regional Manager Msindisi Poponi sad the hospital had asked for a firebreak to halt runaway fires and improve the hospital’s appearance and access.
Poponi said the team had burnt about four hectares around the hospital, removing the flammable material near the fence and making sure fires would not be able to reach the hospital grounds. Working on Fire is an Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) based in the Department of Environmental Affairs, aimed at providing work opportunities to young men and women. Working on Fire manages an Integrated Fire Management programme which includes fire management planning, detection, prevention, suppression, dispatch and coordination and community fire awareness.
Working on Fire (WOF) programme in the province recently provided work opportunities for more than 90 unemployed young people. All these young men and women were recruited this month in Addo, Lottering, Baviaanskloof, Sarah Baartman, Longmore , Molteno, Langeni, Mhlahlane and Nqadu .
In order for them to be recruited they all had to go through the fitness test which included running 2.4km in 14 minutes for women and 12 minutes for men, 40 sit-ups in one minute, 40 push-ups in one minute and 8 pull-ups.
They will be taken to the training academy in Nelspruit where they will undergo courses in advanced firefighting, fire safety and other specialised skills.
Regional Manager Ongezwa Nonjiji said, “We are topping up some of the teams in the… province as the summer fire season is approaching.”