4 May 2010, In commemoration of International Firefighters’ Day, a Fire Fighting Vehicle Parade will depart from the Goodwood Fire Station and arrive at the Bellville Civic Centre where Anton Bredell the Provincial Minister for Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning will pay tribute to Fire Crews from across the province, acknowledging those who have lost their lives while on duty.

This is a special day to salute these public servants who instead of choosing other career prospects chose to embark on a journey to protect and save the lives and properties of our citizens. The aim of this tribute is to celebrate the life of those who devoted their careers to saving others and lost their lives in the line of duty. Chief Fire Officers, Fire Fighters, Mayors and Municipal Managers have come together today to acknowledge the efforts of the fire fraternity.

The Western Cape in particular is a disaster-prone fire province during both the winter and summer seasons, and this obviously calls for fire fighters to place their own lives at risk for others. With the 2010 Soccer World Cup and the winter season around the corner, Western Cape fire fighters will be faced with more challenging situations in the coming months.

To boost the fire fighters efforts the department will implement a number of regulations to assist municipalities to streamline their efforts in order to ensure effective local government and better services are provided to the communities. The regulations will, amongst other things cover aspects such as minimum qualifications for fire officers, fire fighters and Chief Fire Officers, medical and fitness standards, standards for fire services in municipalities and standards to monitor the effectiveness of fire services.

“I would like to thank the provincial fire fighters for their unselfish heroic work. We would like to thank you for your daily sacrifices that you as well as your families endure in risking your lives every day to save the lives of others. We extend our gratitude to assure you that we appreciate your commitment in reducing the effects of fires across our beautiful province,” says Minister Bredell.

Statement by:
Anton Bredell
Minister of Local Government,
Enviromental Affairs and Development Planning



More about International Firefighters’ Day
International Firefighters’ Day is observed on May 4. It was instituted after a proposal email was sent out across the world on January 4, 1999 due to the deaths of five firefighters in tragic circumstances in a wildfire in Australia. May 4 used to be a traditional Firefighters’ Day in many European countries, because it is the day of Saint Florian, patron saint of firefighters.

Source: Cape Gateway, South Africa