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Disaster management train for fire-season in W Cape

The Western Cape Government with its partners in local government, safety and security, and emergency services agencies, participated in a functional scenario-based training exercise (SBTE).

The training was held in Bredasdorp last week. “The course is presented by two highly experienced trainers with years of practical experience in real-live disaster situations,” explained Louise Wessels, manager of greater Overberg Fire Protection Association (goFPA).

She said the exercise took place at Bredasdorp Park, in Bredasdorp, and was hosted by the Overberg District Municipality and the Greater Overberg Fire Protection Association (goFPA).

“This inter-agency exercise was made possible by the Western Cape Government’s Disaster Management Centre, as part of a disaster-readiness exercise for the province for this fire season.”

Wessels said it is intended to give the Western Cape Incident Management Team (IMT) an opportunity to enhance and apply their knowledge and experience to a simulated wildfire incident.

She explained the scenario-based training exercise is different than most, “as we are attempting to use real players (fighter fighters, police officers, emergency medical services, traffic services) for most of the work.” She said they will work as a part of a team and be required to communicate with affected communities, stakeholders and media.

“An important focus will be to plan and execute (practise) evacuating high-risk areas, protect property and, most of all, work effectively across all districts and services, in joint operations.”

In the same period Vulcan Wildfire Services presented a Divisional Supervisor course to selected fire service’s members and goFPA Fire Management Unit leaders.

All enquiries can be directed to Louise Wessels at manager@overbergfpa.co.za.

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