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The George and Knysna Municipalities’ fire departments collaborated to present a Fire Instructor 1 course to the fire services staff in the Garden Route, Southern Cape. The training which was a hybrid course of face-to-face training and home-based training took place during September and October 2022 and the final assessment was concluded on the 10th and 11th of November 2022.

“Professional Fire Fighting training is a very specialised training and because of that, the places that can present accredited training are few and far between. Until now firefighter training required us to send staff to Cape Town or other provinces to obtain these IFSAC accredited training,” said Santa Sternsdorf, Station Commander Training, at the George Fire Station. “With the City of Cape Town Fire and Rescue Training Academy, obtaining their IFSAC accreditation, they are now willing to assess and accredited the training that we can present ourselves. This allows us as “smaller” Municipalities to train our staff, and in doing so we can reduce the cost of training and ensure a high level of quality training for our staff,” Sternsdorf said.

Western Cape Province Disaster Management Fire and Rescue has been instrumental in this process, through their capacity building grants will assist the Training with resources and costs of assessments to support training in the Western Cape. The instructor training is part of a strategic process to increase the training capabilities of the “Smaller” fire services in the Southern Cape.

This training will, according to Sternsdorf, increase the training capacity of the Fire Services in the area. “Through collaboration with other Municipalities, we can present the training each Municipality Fire service requires locally.” The Fire Instructor 1 course was attended by George, Knysna, Bitou, Mossel Bay, and Hessequa Municipalities. The course was presented as a “hybrid” course where a combination of self-study and classroom training was done. The final assessments will be done the second week in November with a City of Cape Town Fire and Rescue Training Academy assessor.