The first group of technical rescuers in Africa accredited by the International Fire Service Accreditation Congress (IFSAC) studied through the city of Ekurhuleni’s training academy, reports Brakpan Herald.
The academy is the only training provider accredited by the Southern African Emergency Services Institute for full technical rescuers qualifications in line with IFSAC requirements.
Twenty-five firefighters were chosen from different fire stations across the city.
They were successful in all 17 technical rescue modules, which included rope, confined space, structural collapse, trench, swift water, vehicle, machinery, and technical.
The students are the first in the country to have qualified as full IFSAC accredited technical rescuers.
“These specific rescuers will be an added advantage to Ekurhuleni Emergency Services in terms of numbers,” said William Ntladi, district manager and media liaison for Ekurhuleni Disaster and Emergency Management Services.
“As part of a skills development programme, day-to-day rescue activities such as vehicle rescues, will be effectively and efficiently dealt with.
“Placed strategically across the city, their skills will assist in minimising loss of life and damage to property in the shortest possible amount of time.
“These are the rescuers at the grassroots ‘firefighter level’ who are readily available to respond to all eventualities, natural or unnatural.”
The programme is continuous and new groups of firefighters are already in class for the 2019 academic year.
“The academy intends to train an extra 24 firefighters as technical rescuers come the end of 2019,” said Ntladi.
“The aim is to sustain the training [until] every firefighter qualifies as a technical rescuer within the city of Ekurhuleni.”