How do you get through challenging times as a firefighter? On returning from fires, we have a “stoep” talk where we discuss the calls and our actions. This, in its own peculiar way, is a way to blow off steam. Formalised briefing sessions allow for discussions on our operational responses, and how to improve and maintain high levels of alertness and emergency preparedness. Our EAP (Employee Assistance Programme) is another way for staff to offload emotions and allows for counselling and guidance. Which tasks, other than fighting fires, are you involved in as a firefighter? Operational work includes fighting fires, but we also manage vehicle accidents and chemical incidents, and we do rescue work. From time to time we are involved in humanitarian services, disaster management, educating the public, fire safety inspections, and fire prevention services as set out by t Teamwork and camaraderie are some of the best parts of the job. Therefore, firefighters should also be good at working in teams. They should be good listeners, pay attention to detail, and have empathy, good balance and control of emotions. They should be able to focus on the job at hand. Good leadership skills and being resolute in decision making are also important. These are a few of the personality traits of a good firefighter. he National Building Regulations. What personality traits should a good firefighter have?

Drakenstein Municipality is accredited as a Fire Training Centre and provides professional firefighting training.

What can be expected from firefighter training? Basic firefighter training allows for understanding the Fire Service and its different functional divisions (Operations, Training, Fire Safety and Disaster Management). It further lays the foundation for more advanced training, giving attention to drills and exercises, and the use of firefighting equipment. It further allows for a recognised professional firefighter qualification known as Firefighter 1 and 2. This training is provided at accredited fire training centres of which Drakenstein is one. Training is aligned with the regulations as set out by SAESI (Southern African Emergency Services Institute). What would your advice be to aspiring firefighters? Complete matric, preferably with maths as a subject. Maintain good health and stay fit. I would recommend that prospective firefighters enquire about volunteering or reservist programmes at their local fire station, and start enroling!

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