Fire Protection Associations

I have been asked to talk to some key people in the Greater Overberg Fire Protection Association.

I had no idea who they were, or what they do!  But Paul Cluver does, and over a delicious lunch at Fresh, the restaurant on his farm, he filled in the gaps in my head, as well as those in my hungry tummy.

Fire Protection Associations are compulsory…the State requires them…and every landowner outside of the municipal boundaries is required to be a member of the local association. Their purpose is to bring close collaboration between the fire protection duty and responsibility of local authorities, and the rural landowners. Very technical and very legal!
But I am a city dweller, and until I heard Paul, my pictures of a “fire” were of a lovely roaring fireplace on a cold winter’s night, or something men stand around while the meat is braaing, and they have beers in their hands, and rugby is the topic of conversation.

What I came away with was a new picture of “risk” to add to my current thinking on risk. Even with the most sophisticated technology…constant satellite tracking for fires..24/7. Call Centres…helicopters with huge buckets…and, and, and…there is no guarantee that any of us is safe from the destructive disaster of a major fire…and so all of us, including me, has a role to play in preventing, reporting and supporting the work of our local Fire Protection Agency and the firefighters they employ and train.

Then I remembered another “new picture”…the picture of our contingent of firefighters singing at the airport in Canada. They made me proud to be a South African again.

Paul and our singing firefighters have made me “fire aware”.

What a worthy service these brave men and women perform.

Lets support them wherever we can.