It’s not every day that a firefighter dons a hairnet and gloves only to be called out to a fire midway, but George firefighters spent their Mandela Day doing just that.
George Fire Chief Neels Barnard said the seven dayshift firefighters had volunteered at the Oakhurst Insurance food packing point and had a fire truck in the parking lot for emergencies. “The team was called out to a fire in the middle of packing and had to drop their nets and gloves, jump into their firefighting gear and speed off to an informal structure burning in Borchards. The George Fire Department is involved in community activities across the year, so a day in the life of a fireman is not necessarily just about fighting fires, but a hairnet-to-fire helmet change is a rare occurrence,” said Neels with a smile.
The Borchards fire was extinguished and was the second in the team’s volunteering time – the first was a vehicle alight in Lawaaikamp, which had delayed them from joining the food packing line earlier. It was decided to let the team stand down from volunteering after the second fire. “Fortunately, the other packers were very understanding and admiring of the firefighters’ commitment to their communities in the workplace and as volunteers in the food drive.
“Oakhurst is a strong supporter of the George Fire Department and has through the years been the drive behind projects such as upgrading our staff’s sleeping quarters at fire stations. Helping at the company’s food packing line was a great way for the firefighters to show our appreciation of their support,” said Neels.
The Oakhurst food project packed 50 520 meals on Mandela Day, which will be distributed to local charities.
Caption: George Firefighters donned hairnets and gloves between fighting fires on Mandela Day.