Page 1

In this issue

What a lot


we got! By: Bronwyn Barnard

We are proud to introduce ourselves as the new, official journal for the Southern African Emergency Services Institute (SAESI). Fire Africa is a new, alternate-monthly publication that serves to disseminate all the latest news, events, developments and technical information to the EMS sector as a whole.

Kicking off with a bang, this first issue provides insight into the strike situations currently plaguing our EMS sector. This is a contentious issue, at present, with two very different opinions on the matter. Some support this right to strike, while there is a definite school of thought that still believes Essential Services fall outside of the parameters of individuals who should take part in strike action. We question both sides, examining not only the opinions, but the pride and passion inherently associated with this industry. In addition to this lead article, we provide interesting insight into the art of extrication and the new tips to assist with utilizing these tools of the trade.

Taking the entire multimedia approach into consideration, you will have no doubt been made aware of the recently re-vamped and re-launched SAESI website, hosted and run by Interact Media Defined for the Institute. This fully interactive website allows you, the user, full access to breaking news in the industry as well as the opportunity to post blogs, ask questions and let your voices be heard. Linked closely to this site are the everimportant social networking sites, just another way for us to stay in touch with you, our industry.

Our first issue of FIRE Africa is full of exciting and informative content for you, our readers. We take a journey through the history of fire engineering in South Africa, examining the past and its impact on where we are today. We also discuss PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) and just why it is so essential that it is NFPA certified. In addition, we publish the finding of a report completed recently indicating fire fighting to be the second most stressful job and examine further research finding into the costs of natural disaster for 2011. Later in the year, thousands will flock to the biennial firefighter games in Australia. We provide some information about the types of activites offered at the games and the countries who usually take part - Come on South Africa, let’s get a team together that can put the other countries to shame! This and much more forms the content for the very first issue of FIRE Africa. We hope you enjoy! With all that, all that is left is to say I hope you enjoy this first issue of Fire Africa! FA


While all reasonable precautions have been taken to ensure the accuracy of the advice and information given, neither the Editor, Publisher, Proprietor, Staff nor any official body represented or published in this issue, will accept responsibility for any damages, loss, injuries or false claims that may arise or be made in the content. Disclaimers by individual companies are hereby overridden. Reproduction of any of the content is expressly forbidden in terms of the Copyright Act of 1987 with all amendments. All requests to reproduce must be made in writing to the Publisher and such confirmation must be given in writing before proceeding. A copy of where the reproduction was published must be supplied to the Publisher at the above address. No reasonable request will be refused provided all conditions are met. All Publication and Exhibition titles are registered as trade marks in terms of the Trade Marks Act of 1993 and are held by Pipe Trades Media Group (Pty) Ltd, Reg No 2001/011401/07. The right to use these titles is granted to Interact Media Defined (Pty) Ltd, Reg No 1994/07015/07.

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PUBLISHER DETAILS PRINT PUBLISHER Rory Macnamara | ONLINE PUBLISHER Gary Macnamara | EDITOR Sean Macnamara, CA (SA) | CONTRIBUTORY WRITER Bronwyn Barnard | STAFF WRITER Keabetsoe Matshediso | Creative manager Marike Groot | Design/Layout Mpho Ngobeni | NATIONAL ADVERTISING SALES Director: Dale Macnamara | Louann Macnamara | Internal sales: Jessica Erasmus |

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Official journal of the SA Emergency Services Institute

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FIRE AFRICA l January / February 2012

Contents FIRE AFRICA l January / February 2012

1 In this issue

President’s comment 5

Building bigger and better communities

News 6 7 8 9 9 10 10 11

Cover story 26

SafeQuip initiative to prevent fires

Liberty for all

Faith in action First of its kind

Making South Africa proud Distribution agreement announced Dreams do come true World economy at rsik - resport Natural disasters a costly event

Exhibitions & events 12 13 14 14 16 17

Where giants fear to tread Conference showcases latest trends


Raiders spread Christmas joy Safety - Our collective responsibility


CAERing for the community


Safety - a critical aspect


Association 20 20 20

Pride and passion


SAESI gets new publication The first ever Some fun in the sun

FIRE AFRICA l January / February 2012


48 52

Lessons learnt Understanding PPE and NFPA Standards

Wellness 54 59

The second most stressful job in 2012 Games set to match talent

Chaplaincy 61

Join in on the huge rescue operation

62 Products 63 Brandlistings

Last word 64

Managing EMS


Fire fighting 27 30

CAFS -Straight answers A journey never to be forgotten

Incident 34

Principles of fire attack

Rescue 36

New tricks for old tools

Emergency medical 38

Pre-hospital intubation vital

Disaster management 41

Decentralised risk management in South Africa FIRE AFRICA l January / February 2012

President’s comment


Building bigger and better


Communication and support are critical aspects.

change in order to be able to provide more benefit to members. The hosting of the website has moved to Interact Media Defined and is managed by them on a daily basis. Now fully interactive, the website has the functionality for members to comment, ask questions and gain insight into industry related matters. I would like to encourage you to engage on this platform. The idea behind this new website is to create an online community in the emergency services industry. This is a way in which you can reach new and different people, form relationships and build a support structure to assist you in your professional endeavours. Social media Facebook and Twitter have taken the world by storm and more and more we see people communicating on these platforms. For this reason, we have included these social media platforms in what we can offer our members and linked them to our website. I would again encourage you to find these pages, become a fan and follow the movements of the Institute and the industry.

Moshema Mosia, President of SAESI

SAESI has taken cognizance of these two areas and worked tirelessly over the last few months to ensure we are able to provide you, our members, with platforms that can assist in growing individual support within the Institute and excellent communication channels. The changes within the Institute have been the following: 1. A new, fully interactive website. 2. A new publisher for the SAESI Journal, Fire Africa (and the launch thereof ). 3. Social media platforms to keep our members up-to-date with information. 4. The commencement of workshops and road shows to add further benefit to our members. The Website You may have noticed a change on the SAESI website. This has undergone a radical

The idea behind this new website is to create an online community in the emergency services industry. FIRE AFRICA This is the first issue of our new journal, FIRE AFRICA, and we are very proud of it. You will see it has changed considerably and offers more technical and industry information. These magazines will be mailed every second month to each individual member. If you have not updated your details with us, or if your colleagues have not updated their details with us, you, or they, will not receive the magazine. I would encourage you to contact our head office, or the publishers directly, to ensure your details are updated and that you have been added to the mailing list. The magazine is still free to receive, but in order to ensure that you receive your copy, we have changed our process and will be mailing these on an individual basis. Workshops and road shows We, at SAESI, are aware of how important it is to interact with our members and in 2012 we will begin an initiative to visit you in your area and provide technical workshops that you can learn from. I would encourage you to keep a look out for announcements regarding these workshops and road shows. We want to interact with you! With all that said, there is little more to add other than that I hope 2012 is a great year for each and every one of you. You determine your success in life – go out there and make it happen! FA FIRE AFRICA l January / February 2012



SafeQuip initiative

to prevent fires

SafeQuip is launching an initiative to try and prevent the disastrous consequences of veld fires occurring next to townships.

SafeQuip has launched an initiative to assist in preventing veld fires near townships

SafeQuip donated 20 fire extinguishers to volunteer fire-fighting groups in Masiphumelele and Khayelitsha in order for them to fight fires as they start. If the programme is successful in reducing township fires, SafeQuip will introduce the solution throughout the country. There is a big need for the upgrading of fire equipment in townships, as the current system of calling the fire department when shack fires occur, results in long delays before the arrival of fire engines. SafeQuip is working with volunteers from townships in the Western Cape; these volunteers went through a four day training course at the Ottery Fire Department. These volunteers will each keep their own fire extinguisher, for any fires that might occur. FIRE AFRICA l January / February 2012

Fire fighters are usually unable to get their fire trucks in between the buildings due to the narrow streets and alleys. This results in fire fighters not getting access to the core of a fire. The residents are unable to fight the fire themselves as the water pressure in the residential areas is too low to be of any effect on the fire. It has been suggested that smaller, mobile, or bakkie-mounted fire fighting units are kept in townships. This will prevent fires from rapidly sweeping through shacks, which are built very close to one another and constructed of highly flammable material. Ntsiki Dwangu, who runs the volunteer fire and rescue training programme for Catholic Welfare and Development in the Western Cape said: “We are very grateful to SafeQuip for the fire extinguishers which will assist in preventing fires and deaths in the informal settlements. More awareness is needed about the cause of fires, because fire prevention is better than dealing with fire disaster after it occurs.� SafeQuip advises that every residence, processing facility and vehicle should be equipped with a fire extinguisher. This is because fire extinguishers are the only method of safely fighting a fire. The company also supplied a home fire safety kit, that contains a battery-powered smoke alarm, a mini blanket and a mini fire extinguisher to the volunteer fire fighters. FA


Faith in action “Death is nothing at all, it does not count. I have slipped away in the next room. Nothing has happened, everything remains exactly the same.”

By: Bronwyn Barnard Members of the South African Emergency Services sector joined together to celebrate, remember and bid farewell to a friend, family member and colleague. A man who will, for always, remain near and dear to their hearts. On the 16 November 2011, a memorial service was held for Andre Peter Christian Mey, ex South African firefighter and friend. Mey relocated to the United States almost 20 years ago, but was never far from the thoughts and hearts of those who knew him. On a recent trip to South Africa, Mey was invited by SA Emergency Care to open their twoday fire and rescue industry competition. A passionate Christian and enthusiastic man, Mey could not help but inspire when he spoke. At the competition he opened the event with the following speech: “’A man can do nothing better than to eat, drink and find satisfaction in his work. This too, I see, is from the hand of God.’ – Ecclesiates 2:24. Some of you may be thinking ‘What’s that got to do with today’s firefighting challenge?’ Well, I submit to you, it has everything to do with the challenge. Allow me to explain: How many of you here consider yourselves to be a Christian? Come on, here’s your opportunity to acknowledge Jesus publically. Remember, Jesus said, ‘If you acknowledge me before man I will acknowledge you before the Father.’ How many of you are passionate about your craft, firefighting? Can you see it now? You did not choose to be a firefighter, God chose that for you! Therefore, it does not really matter what the Americans or the Russians, if you like, have or don’t have with respect to uniforms, equipment or training. No! What matters is who you are, what you do and how well you do it. That is what really matters. If you are a firefighter, you are by default a Christian! Huh? How so? Let me explain. Look at the history and beginnings of the fire service. Where and when did the icon (The Maltese Cross) of the fire service originate? Knights of Malta 113 AD. Look at the Maltese Cross, an eight-pointed cross. Why eight points? Why a cross? The eight points of the Maltese Cross represent the Beatitudes of Jesus as mentioned in the Gospel of Matthew: • Blessed are the poor … • Blessed are those who mourn… • Blessed are the meek… • Blessed are the hungry and thirsty… • Blessed are the merciful… • Blessed are the pure in heart …. • Blessed are the peacemakers… • Blessed are those who are persecuted… (Matthew 5: 1-10) And, of course, the Cross. Which, if you are a Christian, you know represents Jesus’ sacrifice for mankind. The Maltese Cross is your symbol of protection. It means that the firefighter who wears this cross is willing to lay down his life for you - just as the Crusaders sacrificed their lives for their fellow man so many years ago. Would you lay down your life for someone? Anyway, this opening speaker’s message is not a sermon, but rather an encouragement and reminder

Andre Christian Mey

that as a firefighter, whether professional or commercial, you have a responsibility first and foremost to Almighty God, and secondly, to the community you serve to enjoy and perform your calling, in other words your “job”, to the very best of your ability based on your training and education as a firefighter. Never mind about the Americans or Russians, you are South Africans, and as South African firefighters, you fight South African fires and save South African lives here in South Africa. Today, you get to show off your firefighting skills, as South African firefighters, at one of the most dedicated and distinguished training academy’s in the country. It is not about being the best; it’s about you doing your best! Thank you and God Bless you!” On 7 November 2011, after Mey had returned to the United States, he was killed in a car accident. Wayne Zastron, one of Mey’s friends says, “Andre Mey was one of the nicest guys you would have known. Passionate CONTINUED >>> FIRE AFRICA l January / February 2012




<<<CONTINUED about life and learning. A man’s man. He was always encouraging others, ready to help at any hour and loved by his boys. His passion from training medical emergency and firefighting personnel was without equal and his unquenchable love for creative, systematic and simple training methods to equip others was a driving force for him… He faced challenges in his life since a young man, but was able to rise above most of them. What I remember about him is knocking on my window at 05:00 to go running up Fishershill. ‘Breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth,’ he would keep saying. Then after sparring a few rounds with him, he would read the Bible out loud and offer you copious amounts of tea. His love for movies, especially boxing movies, was always a talking point. He rarely backed away from a physical challenge and believed the neck, back, leg and calf muscles were important to keep strong. His love for the Bible was infectious, and very rarely would a conversation go by without a Bible verse being included. A guy with a big heart and no grudges, he sometimes did not know how to cope with certain obstacles (but boy did he try).” Rodney Berry presided at the funeral, and spoke unreservedly about the time

he had met Mey. He commented continually about Mey’s passion. When he opened the floor for people to share their memories of Mey, the contributions just flowed. Everyone had something special they wanted to share with those present. “Laugh, as we always laughed at the little jokes we enjoyed together. Play, smile, think of me, pray for me. Let my name be ever the household name it is. Let it be spoken without efforts, without the ghost of shadow upon it. I am somewhere very near, just around the corner. All is well, all is well.” FA

First of its kind

The new Eagle II incident command vehicle (ICV), developed by Fire Raiders, was initially plagued by development issues with its programmable logic controller (PLC) and human machine interface (HMI) solution. Fire Raiders solved their development issues by sourcing more reliable parts from Elquip Solutions.

The new ICV is designed for a variety of applications, such as hazmat, Emergency Management Services (EMS), fire fighting, rescue, incident command and disaster management monitoring. Fire Raiders uses either a Scania, Iveco or Mercedes-Benz chassis as a platform for their IVC’s. A body is then added, using components that are manufactured in-house, or as is the case with the PLC, sourced externally. Specifically, Elquip provided a Hitachi PLC and HMI. The Hitachi PLC handles all control switching within the ICV. Gustav Verster, Technical Manager at Elquip Solutions, expands on this: “The source code was written by Elquip Solutions and

this provided one of the differentiations for us as we did not charge for this service.” Fire Raiders’ Training and Marketing Manager, Jubilee Jones, also comments on the source code, “We require a constant voltage and monitoring of the AC supply for our power supply requirements, so the source code was specifically written around these needs.” At the time of writing, these new PLC units have been installed in two ICV’s belonging to the Disaster Management Unit at Ekurhuleni Municipality. A unit has also been installed in an ICV based at Capricorn in Polokwane. There are also plans to upgrade some Rand Water ICV’s, as well as a Botswanabased vehicle. Both Fire Raiders and Elquip are proud of their involvement in this project. Fire Raiders, in particular, are excited.

Level 2 Incident Command Vehicles (ICV), also known as Eagle II, are used to monitor disaster or emergency scenes.

FIRE AFRICA l January / February 2012

This is because as far as they can establish, they have developed the only mobile command centre in the world, that operates on a PLC. Jones says, “Traditionally, PLC’s are used in the industrial arena so this is truly a unique application. We have had feedback from companies overseas who are quite impressed with this.” FA



Making South Africa

Tshwane firefighter wins bodybuilding championships in Vienna, Austria By: Tshwane Emergency Services In 2011, Firefighter Ferdie Pieterse competed in the SA Masters and was selected to represent South Africa in the World Bodybuilding Championships in Vienna, Austria, on 3 November 2011. Forty-six countries took part in the various classes and Ferdie won the championships in the masters’ class for men aged between 40 and 49. Ferdie weighs 98 kg and had only 4 percent body fat when he won his second world title. Pieterse started his career in 1990 at the former Pretoria Fire Department. He was promoted to Station Officer after he completed the required qualifications in 1994. He is currently managing one of the shifts at the Hazelwood Fire Station, which specialises in hazardous materials and specialised incidents throughout Tshwane. When he was younger, he practised sports such as rugby and cricket, but had to stop due to injuries. To keep fit and healthy he started to gym in 1997. After a few years he decided to do power lifting, and he received his provincial colours in 2004 and 2005. At the end of 2005 he had to quit the sport due to a back injury. After a short rest he decided to take up the challenge to do bodybuilding, and he prepared for four years to enter the SA novice competition in March 2010. After that, he moved on to the senior competition. He won the SA Masters title in September 2010 and was selected to participate internationally at the World Bodybuilding Federation’s World Championships in Slovakia in October 2010. He took the overall honours in the masters’ class and was crowned number one in the world. Ferdie trains five to six times a week for 90 minutes at a time, doing weight training and various cardio-vascular exercises. In order to stay in good shape and build his body, Ferdie follows a high-protein diet with lots of fruits and vegetables all year round and he tries to avoid processed foods, sweets and alcohol. However, he will indulge sometimes when it is off-season, during weekends or while on holiday.

Bodybuilder Champion - Ferdie Pieterse

He was quite astonished and very proud when he was announced the overall winner in his class for the second consecutive year. He can’t wait to take part in more championships all over the world and win more titles. The Tshwane Emergency Services are very proud and honoured to have a Mr World in their ranks. We wish him all the best and assure him of our continued support. Well done, Ferdie! FA

Distribution agreement


Jim Hamilton, owner of Hamilton Hydraulics, was pleased to announce recently that his company has been awarded the status of sole distributor for the Lukas and Vetter products. Hamilton says that this is an exciting new step for the company and that the industry can look forward to professional and reliable dealings with the company. FA For more information contact Jim Hamilton on +27 (0) 11 828 1083

FIRE AFRICA l January / February 2012



Dreams do come true


All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” - Walt Disney By: Rural Metro

Chris Gilbert

When interviewed recently, Chris Gilbert of Rural Metro Emergency Management Services spoke openly about just how he came to be involved in the emergency services sector. “It was always a dream of mine, since junior school, when I would watch the fire services vehicles responding to emergencies, to become involved in this industry.”

It is clearly apparent that this dream has been realized in full! Gilbert recently acquired the majority shareholding in the company, upping his stake from 25 to 75 percent. Gilbert, previously the operations director for the company, is now officially the managing director. Great things are still to come from this company, with this change being only the start. The company is in the process of developing a R10-million world-class fire training academy in Greytown and is also working on a major disaster management project with the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform. This involves the establishment of 800 emergency houses across eight provinces. These are designed to tend to the needs of people affected by floods that have occurred over the past year. Gilbert says,“ The company has an exciting future. We are moving rapidly into the other provinces, as well as Africa and the Middle East.”The company has international business interests in Swaziland, Lesotho, Mozambique, Sudan, Madagascar, Iran, Indonesia, the United Arab Emirates, Thailand and Canada. Gilbert adds, “As a private enterprise, we are not bound by tradition. Continuously exploring more effective ways of managing personnel and resources has contributed to our success. Our ability to adapt to the evolving emergency needs of our clients has allowed us to develop satisfying community relationships based on mutual trust. We are proud of what we have accomplished thus far and we are especially proud of our people whose energy, dedication and genuine caring is the backbone of Rural Metro.” FA

World economy at risk

– report

According to Reuters, the global economy could withstand widespread disruption from a major natural disaster or attack by militants for only a week. A recently conducted report by a UKbased think-tank, Chatham House, reported to Reuters that the frequency of natural disasters, such as extreme weather events, appears to be increasing and that globalisation has also increased its impact. It commented that events such as the 2010 volcanic ash cloud,

it has been reported that the global economy could only endure a natural disaster for one week

FIRE AFRICA l January / February 2012

which grounded flights in Europe, Japan’s earthquake and tsunami and Thailand’s floods last year, showed that key sectors and businesses can be severely affected if disruption to production or transport goes on for more than a week. “One week seems to be the maximum tolerance of the ‘just-in-time’ global economy,” Chatham House said. Currently the world’s economy is fragile, leaving it particularly vulnerable to unforeseen shocks. Up to 30 percent of developed countries’ gross domestic product could be directly threatened by crises, especially in the manufacturing and tourism sectors, it said. It is estimated that the 2003 outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in Asia cost businesses $60 billion, or about two percent of the East Asian GDP, the report said. After the Japanese tsunami and nuclear crisis in March last year, global industrial production declined by 1.1 percent the following month, according to the World Bank. The 2010 ash cloud cost the European Union 5-10 billion Euros and pushed some airlines and travel companies to the verge of bankruptcy. In the event of continued disruption, some businesses would cut investment and jobs or consider closing down, leading to a permanent reduction in countries’ growth, the report said. In general, governments and businesses are under-prepared to respond to high-impact, unpredictable events and it can be difficult to coordinate across borders. The think-tank recommended various ways to improve responses from governments and businesses to extreme events, covering areas such as communication, transparency, insurance, investment, training, costs and impact analysis. ( FA


Natural disasters

a costly event

2011 earthquakes prompt record insurance claims - insurance industry trembling. The earth-shattering figure of US $380 billion, the cost of the catastrophic earthquakes in Japan and New Zealand in 2011, is, according to experts, more than double the amount spent in 2010 and as much a triple the average for the past decade. Munich Re, the world’s biggest insurer, reported recently that insurance losses from these disasters reached a record US $105 billion and the cost to insurers from the Tsunami in Japan in March, responsible for nearly 16 000 deaths, was estimated at US $35 billion to US $40 billion. These figures were revealed during the company’s annual review of prior years’ natural disasters. The company stated this equalled the insured cost of all the natural disasters to strike the United States during the year, and an earthquake in New Zealand in February added a further US $13 billion to insurers’ claims payout for the year. In an online briefing, Munich Re commented that, “Global economic losses from natural disasters were two-thirds higher than in 2005, when Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath devastated parts of the U.S. Gulf states. While monetary costs were high in 2011, fatalities worldwide were extremely low, at 27 000, compared to 296 000 deaths from natural disasters in 2010.” The vast majority of deaths: 15 840, occurred in Japan in the earthquake and tsunami that slammed Fukushima. Landslides and floods in Brazil claimed 1 348 lives, Tropical Storm Washi killed 1 257 in the Philippines, floods and landslides cost 813 lives in Thailand and 604 people were killed in an earthquake in Turkey. The quakes in Japan and New Zealand together made up about half of last year’s total insured losses from natural catastrophes, exceeding the previous record of $101 billion set in 2005. All losses reported on were compared in original dollars and not adjusted for inflation. According to the company, “Normally, it is the weather-related natural catastrophes that are the dominant

Hurricane Gustave

Above and far left: Hurricane Katrina

It has been reported that natural disasters are costing more than double what they did a year ago

loss drivers.” In the United States, 171 events produced US $35 billion in economic losses. Nearly US $26 billion of that came from thunderstorm events, shattering the previous record by more than US $10 billion. Among those storms were tornado outbreaks in April and May that rank among the 10 largest U.S. weather disasters ever. There were 820 natural catastrophes in 2011, about average for the past 10 years, but significantly higher than the 30-year average of 630 events per year. “At least part of this increasing frequency in number of weather-related natural disasters is driven already by climate change,” Ernst Rauch from Munich Re said. “The natural patterns known as El Nino and La Nina also play a role”. FA FIRE AFRICA l January / February 2012


Exhibitions & Events



Where giants fear to

In November 2011, the Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) hosted a morning demonstration, inviting three of the leading rescue tool companies in South Africa to come and “boast their wares.” By: Bronwyn Barnard This is the first time an event such as this has occurred in South Africa and was a demonstration that would not be soon forgotten. The three rescue companies present on the day, Hamilton Hydraulics, Marce and Webber Hydraulics, arrived early in the morning full of nerves and anticipation for the day. Henry Ludick, from Hamilton Hydraulics said, “An event such as this has the possibility of going one of two ways. Either each company will come to the party, behave like adults and accept the outcome, or, depending on the results, there will be bad blood and antagonism over the outcome.” An extrication operation from an aircraft is no easy feat, and contains its own unique set of challenges. The exterior and superstructure of the plane provide the first barrier. If the tools are not up to the task at hand, this proves impenetrable and renders rescuers unable to assist. Some of the ACSA chiefs present on the day commented that the average timeframe given for any rescue team to work with once an aircraft is on fire is “approximately 22 seconds.” For this reason, there is no margin for error, no room for mistakes and definitely no time for tools that are not up to the task at hand. A fuselage was provided by ACSA for the event and each company was given a designated area to set up their displays of tools and cut into the fuselage. The first task at hand: an active demonstration by the companies on what the tools were capable of. Hamilton Hydraulics was the first company to demonstrate and the tools present on the day were the Lukas E-draulics and Hurst set of tools. Following a brief explanation by Jim Hamilton on the tools, and a short question and answer session, the tools were put to the test. Both the Hurst Jaws of Life and the E-draulic rescue tools were able to cut throught the shell of the plane. However, it FIRE AFRICA l January / February 2012

The ACSA fire chiefs present for the demonstrations

The Lukas demonstration

The TNT products at work

was not the shell that the Chiefs on the day were overly concerned with, but rather the superstructure on the inside of the plane. Hamilton Hydraulics finished off their demonstration with a short demonstration on an electric drill, which comes in two blade sizes, which was easily able to cut through the superstructure. Second to perform was Marce with their range of TNT rescue tools. Available in four different sizes and strengths, Rocco van der Westhuizen from Marce was quick to explain the unique benefits of the TNT range. Again, following the explanation and a short question and answer session, the TNT equipment was put to the test and was also able to cut through the side of the fuselage. The final demonstration on the day was given by Webber Hydraulics, the current supplier of rescue tools for ACSA. The company had taken the time and effort to fly their technical expert out from Germany for the demonstration. Volker Oberhagemann was quick to provide a detailed demonstration of the Webber Hydraulics range of tools, and this was completed in a professional manner. Again, following the demonstration and question and

Exhibitions & Events


answer session, the tools were put to the test. And yet again, the tools did not disappoint. All three companies were able to successfully cut through the fuselage but there were a few areas that arose on the day that needed to be taken note of. Firstly, there was a general consensus from some of the spectators that the tool demonstrations should have been completed by one of the ACSA Fire and Rescue teams. They would have been completely unbiased in their approach with the tools and are also not as familiar with the tools as the suppliers. One comment that stood out from the demonstration was, “It is the successful combination of the right tools that will ensure a successful result.” However, a question that arose from this was quite simply, how does your daily rescue staff know what combination of tools to use, and when, in order to ensure a successful rescue? They are not as familiar with the tools as the suppliers and, although training is provided whenever tools are supplied, it is the back-up service and support that is going to be the determining factor in whether or not any tool set is successful. Another point that came up was that, although all the tools were successful in cutting through the fuselage, the challenge was difficult and merely penetrating the aircraft is not sufficient. The size of the hole and the cleanness of the cut are equally important and points that should have been taken into consideration. In addition to this, the time factor is a point of great concern for, while you can have the cleanest cut, if the rescue is going to take twice as long to achieve that, then it is also not good enough. The second challenge given to the three teams was to cut one of the windows out of the fuselage. Judging criteria for the task were the time taken and the efficiency of the task at hand. All three companies were able to remove one of the windows from the fuselage, but again there were certain comments from the Chiefs on the day. The size of the holes was a great concern. None of the spectators felt the holes were large enough for a person to get through in full gear, one of the holes was messy and untidy and would have caused serious harm to any victim being pulled back out of the fuselage and all of the teams took, in the spectators’ opinion, too long to complete the task. All the rescue tools were able to perform on the

The Webber Hydraulics demonstration

day. None of them failed to achieve what was asked of them, however possibly the greatest message that came through from the demonstration was that a deep working knowledge of the tools and good support and service from the supplying company are what are going to make the difference in a rescue. These are the areas that need attention and need to be addressed by supplier and employer alike to ensure a team is adequately prepared for whatever challenge comes their way. FA

Conference showcases

latest trends

One of Africa’s largest fire, emergency and disaster management conferences will be held in Jo’burg. Local and international delegates from fire, emergency services, disaster risk management, national, provincial and local government, industry, NGOs, research and education, from all over the world are expected to attend. The 2013 conference theme is ‘Working together to ensure our Future’. This theme highlights the need for change, cooperation and interventions by all stakeholders to ensure that the needs of the fire service industry are addressed in the 21st Century and to ensure a green and sustainable future for our world. The initial programme summary for the week starting on Sunday, 12 May 2013, is as follows: •

All councillors of SAESI, VIP’s, special guests, team members and judges for the extrication, high angle rescue and EMS challenge will meet on Sunday evening, 12 May 2013. The Annual Council meeting of the Southern African Emergency Services Institute will be held on Monday and Tuesday, 13 and 14 May 2013.

The vehicle extrication, high angle rescue and EMS challenge starts on Wednesday, 15 May 2013 and will be concluded during the prize giving and closing ceremony on Friday, 17 May 2013. • The conference and exhibition starts on Wednesday, 15 May 2013 and closes on Friday, 17 May 2013. • Various sporting activities, as well as the PIER programme, will also be part of the event. Watch this space for additional information and opportunities to get involved. FA

FIRE AFRICA l January / February 2012

Exhibitions & Events


Raiders spread Christmas


There are numerous stories of giving and goodwill during the festive season and 2011 was no different. By: Bronwyn Barnard Christmas came early for the residents of the Springs Home for Battered and Abused Women when Fire Raiders partnered with DHL to bring a bit of happiness in the form of toys and gifts to the home.

Father Christmas joined in the fun!

On 26 November 2011, Fire Raiders drove Father Christmas to the home to donate gifts to the mothers and children residing in the home. The home was established, and is run, by the local Methodist Church who recognized the need to be able to provide a sanctuary for battered and abused women and children. Currently housing nine women and children, the home is run on a daily basis by two housemothers employed by the church. They home takes responsibility for the day-to-day care of the residents and for sending the children to school. There are

specific requirements that need to be met by the home, such as keeping the boys separate from the girls in the dormitory and not exceeding the required amount of residents at any given time. Christo Muller, marketing manager at Fire Raiders, comments that Fire Raiders felt that getting involved in this initiative was a small way in which they could give something back to the community. The children were completely overwhelmed to see the bright red fire engine pull up in their driveway, leaving Father Christmas feeling as though he had a bit of competition at the event. Muller laughed at this commenting, “All children love a fire engine and one filled with toys and a friendly Father Christmas is even better!” FA

Safety – Our collective


City of Johannesburg Emergency Management Services (CoJEMS) handed over 20 new ambulances. The event began with the official arrival of community members who were treated to a performance by the Drill Squad. This was followed by the arrival of the dignitaries and a parade inspection. The event was then officially opened with the singing of the South African National Anthem. Rvd R Legoete then gave a moment of reflection and Cllr Mgoledela Michael Mtimkulu, the welcome address. As expected from a CoJEMS function, the morning was filled with an array of drama items and entertainment for the crowd. The keynote address was given by Cllr Mpho Parks Tau, acting Executive Mayor. During the keynote address, it was interesting to note the establishment of a Be Safe centre at the Jabulani Station. The Station was initially started in 1973 and was the first black Fire Station in FIRE AFRICA l January / February 2012

Johannesburg. Clive Pearsson was the first officer at the station and Leonard Ntambeni, the first African Station Commander. The station was started by the police department. The station played a critical role during the political upheavals and this provided a unique set of skills that was grown in CoJEMS. Acting Mayor Tau commented that local action, “goes a long way towards sustainable solutions for communities.” He gave some feedback as to the workings of the station. It has grown, since 1973, to: • 50 firefighters • 7 ambulances • 1 fire engine • 1 utility van • 1 resource van It cares for, on average, 300 walk-in patients, which are a combination of medical, assault and motor vehicle accidents. CoJEMS has acquired 48 ambulances in the last three years, but still requires another 50. The 20 ambulances handed over at the event were to be dispersed to different regions, dependent on need. Tau commented that local involvement was a key component to any successful department and that CoJEMS would strive to ensure exceptional local involvement at all stations. The event closed with the cutting of the ribbon and the official handover of the ambulances, as well as the unveiling of the Plaque. FA

Exhibitions & Events


‘CAER’ing for the


Fire Africa recently attended a SASOL Community Awareness Emergency Response (CAER) simulation. The exercise involved all disciplines and provided an immense challenge for all. Compiled by: Bronwyn Barnard The scene was as follows: On 30 November at approximately 08:48, a petrol tanker traveling in a western direction along Oliver Tambo Drive anticipates turning right into Water Sisulu Drive, as the traffic light is green for the tanker. At the same time, a cargo truck transporting sulphur approaches the intersection from a southerly direction. The tanker negotiates the right turn. There are two passenger vehicles stationary at the traffic light (facing south). The heavy-duty vehicle transporting sulphur applies brakes to stop and the brakes suddenly fail. The vehicle transporting sulphur collides with the petrol tanker and propels the tanker into one of the stationary vehicles. The impact ruptures the bottom of the petrol tanker’s compartment and a 25 mm tear releases petrol onto the road surface. One of the stationary vehicles ignites the petrol vapour. The fire causes the bags containing sulphur, which were dislodged during the impact, to ignite. This causes the fire to spread engulfing all four vehicles. The ignited sulphur produces Sulphur Dioxide, which results in fumes affecting 10 pedestrians in close proximity. There are 20 patients in the CBD area as well as 10 patients in Sunset Park. Assumptions: • The weather conditions of the day will be used. • The spilled product does not ignite on impact. • The petrol tanker does not BLEVE. • The spilled petrol will be simulated via coloured water. • The sulphur bags will be filled with sand. Patients were placed as follows: • One driver per heavy vehicle. FIRE AFRICA l January / February 2012

Preparing to move a patient from the hot zone

• Four patients per stationary passenger vehicle. • The drivers of the two heavy vehicles were fatally infured during the impact. A member of the public informs Secunda Emergency Services of the incident. A heads up of some of the exercise evaluator”s findings: • Exercise design and development and scene set up was excellent with great participation by all CAER members, led by Rymond – Exercise Co ordinator • CAER marketing and awareness to Govan Mbeki Community was well thought through and creatively done by Lauren and her Grassroot Africa Marketing Team. • Exercise administration of high standard and attention to detail by Ophelia. • Scene prioritisation by GMM Fire Department not well done, initially neglected patients. Also not well equipped to handle Hazmat incidents. • Ambulance cooperation by Provincial and Private ambulances went well – scene access was limited due to various Sasol Emergency Management vehicles on scene. • Local Hospitals were well prepared to receive numerous simulated patients, information on hazardous materials involved should always be on hand. • Communication and information flow from the on scene command to Joint Operation Centre and onto the Sasol Works Emergency Coordinator could have been improved. • Portable radios provided by Sasol to all agencies on scene ensured good radio communication, supported by Hamnet teams. • Only a Sasol Command vehicle on scene, a serious need exist for a multi agency command vehicle. • SAPS demonstrated great discipline by it’s members with a very professional handling of the uncertainty of a suspected explosive device. • The Traffic officials cordoned off a very wide area, indicating concern to motorists to keep them away from simulated toxic fumes.

Exhibitions & Events

• •

After the activation of the Secunda community emergency warning system there was initial good co operation by community members to shelter. Unfortunately some business owners requested shoppers to vacate their premises and then closed shop, leaving public members in the open and exposed to simulated toxic cloud. Secunda FM 97.6 proved a valuable resource in keeping the community informed after the warning system was activated. Cellphone network usage increased as concerned citizens attempted to get more information on the situation.

The need exist for an on scene media relations bus to facilitate media interaction and even a press conference, which only took place after the exercise, facilitated by Sasol. The CAER Committee members would like to thank all who participated positively in the exercise. FA

Starting with the foam

Essential communication

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Safety -

a critical aspect

Occupational Health and Safety in the Workplace is an often neglected, but necessary function of day to day business life. Something which the corporate company, small to medium business enterprise or manufacturer ignores at its own peril, as well as that of its employees. By: Bronwyn Barnard Fires, floods, electrocution, slipping on wet flooring, building construction failure and death or injury by negligence or accident are a reality in our daily working environments. The financial implications and penalties, as well as the social impact of traumatic events occurring in the workplace due to accidents or neglect of the basic laws pertaining to Occupational Health and Safety regulations, can be catastrophic. The Employer is duty-bound by Law to provide a safe working environment for its employees. The Law provides guidelines in the appointing and training of safety representa-

tives, evacuation marshals, firefighting, first aid, evacuation drills and procedures and safety signage required by Law. These rules and regulations are not frivolous. They are of the utmost importance. CONTINUED >>> FIRE AFRICA l January / February 2012


Exhibitions & Events



Employees have a shared responsibility with the employer in ensuring their own safety, as well as the safety of others in the working environment. They need to be trained adequately in Occupational Health and Safety methods and accident/incident prevention in order to be effective in preventing mishaps in the workshop. The Occupational Health and Safety training needs to be undertaken by accredited train-

ing institutions and trainers and refresher courses conducted periodically as per the requirements set out by the OHASA Laws and Regulations. The SciBono building is a science and technology centre which sees pedestrian traffic of up 4 000 people at times on a daily basis. It has a high-traffic load, often filled with groups of children, and as such requires detailed attention to be given to its evacuation procedure. Understanding the need and importance of the above requirements, SciBono contracted Global Emergency Technologies to assist them with ensuring all their evacuation procedures are up to standard. Fire Africa was invited to attend the morning evacuation simulation and was interested in some of the results of the drill. One of the greatest challenges faced by the building is its sheer magnitude. The building is large and contains various elements such as office space, display areas etc. One of the most important findings in this drill was that when the fire alarm was sounded, not all areas of the building could hear and identify the sound. Compounding on this was the fact that employees that did hear the siren did get up and leave the building, but they did not notify their colleagues of the siren when moving past the other offices. For this reason, people remained working at their desks long after the siren had sounded. Communication proved to be yet another challenge on the day. While fire marshals and the required staff had been assigned roles, they failed to meet and discuss the plan forward. This meant that the command point was not aware of what the various marshals were doing at any given point. This can prove dangerous as it adds to the number of potential casualties on the day.

The team from Global Emergency Technologies

While there were other areas that required attention and proved challenging during this simulation, the core message that came through was that even although the staff at SciBono believed they were prepared for the drill (it is was only a drill and not a real emergency), when crunch time came, there were too many areas that flagged, too many issues that arose and too many areas of potential disaster. The event highlighted to the team just how essential it is to ensure all areas of building safety have been taken into consideration and are up to date.

The City of Johannesburg by-laws pertaining to the building installation of fire-fighting equipment Installation and maintenance of firefighting equipment 16. (1) Every owner of a building must ensure that– • All fire-fighting equipment and service installations on the premises are installed in a manner and condition ready for use in an emergency; • All portable and mobile fire-extinguishers and all hose reels on the premises are serviced and maintained in accordance with SABS 0105 and SABS 1475; • All fire-fighting equipment and service installations on the premises are (i) Maintained in a good working condition by a competent person; (ii) Inspected and serviced in accordance with manufacturer specifications; and (iii) Are inspected by an appropriately registered and competent person at least once every 12 months; and • A comprehensive service record of all fire-fighting equipment and service

FIRE AFRICA l January / February 2012

installations on the premises is maintained and furnished to the Chief Fire Officer every 12 months. (2) Every person who inspects, services or repairs any fire-fighting equipment or service installation must– • On completing the inspection, service or repairs, as the case may be – (i) Certify in writing that the equipment or installation concerned is fully functional; and (ii) Furnish that certificate to the owner of the premises; or • If the equipment or installation cannot readily be repaired to a functional state, notify the Chief Fire Officer of this fact in writing without delay. (3) Except for purposes of inspection, service, repair or fire-fighting, no person may remove or interfere with any fire-fighting equipment or service installation at any premises. (4) No person may alter, damage, misuse or render ineffective any fire-fighting equip-

ment or service installation at any premises. Chief Fire Officer may designate premises for emergency evacuation plans 17. (1) The Chief Fire Officer may by written notice designate any premises as a premises requiring an emergency evacuation plan. (2) The notice contemplated in subsection (1), must be served on the premises concerned and addressed to the owner or occupier. Duties of owner or occupier of designated premises • 18. (1) The owner, or with the approval of the Chief Fire Officer, the occupier, of any premises designated in terms of section 17 must • Prepare a comprehensive emergency evacuation plan for the premises in accordance with the guideline contained in Schedule 1 and submit it to the Chief Fire Officer in triplicate within 30 days of service of the designation notice; • Establish a fire protection committee

Exhibitions & Events

21 comprised of occupiers of the premises to assist the owner or occupier to organise a fire protection programme and regular and scheduled fire evacuation drills; • Ensure that the emergency evacuation plan is reviewed(i) At least every 12 months; (ii) Whenever the floor layout of the premises is changed; and (iii) Whenever the Chief Fire Officer requires revision of the plan; • Ensure that an up-to-date emergency evacuation plan, any fire protection programmes, evacuation drills and any related documents are kept, maintained and all times available in a control room on the premises for inspection by any member of the Service; and (e) Identify a place of safety off the designated premises, but in the immediate vicinity of the premises, where persons who reside or work on the premises may gather during an emergency for the purpose of compiling a list of survivors. (2) The Chief Fire Officer may in respect of premises designated in terms of section 17 • Require the review of any emergency evacuation plan by the owner or occupier and may provide directions in this regard; • Instruct the owner or occupier to implement a fire protection program that the Chief Fire Officer believes is necessary to ensure the safety of persons and property on the premises; and • Require the owner or occupier to provide the Chief Fire Officer with a certified copy of the emergency evacuation plan and any associated documents at a specified time and place.Part 4: Certificates of fitness for certain buildings. Prohibition of public gatherings in certain circumstances 19. (1) No person may hold a public gathering or allow a public gathering to be held in any building or temporary structure unless a certificate of fitness has been issued by the Chief Fire Officer in respect of that building or temporary structure, unless a certificate of fitness previously issued in terms of this subsection, has not yet expired. (2) Subsection (1) does not apply in respect of a building or temporary structure which existed at the commencement of these By-laws, unless after that date – • The building or temporary structure is rebuilt, altered, extended or its floor lay-

out is changed; or • Ownership or control of the building or structure changes. Application for certificate of fitness 20. (1) Every owner of a building or temporary structure intended for the holding of a public gathering must • Complete and submit to the Chief Fire Officer an application form for a certificate of fitness in the form and manner determined by the Council; and • Pay the prescribed fee. (2) An application contemplated in subsection (1) must be submitted at least 30 days before any intended public gathering. Requirements for certificate of fitness 21. The Chief Fire Officer may not issue a certificate of fitness in respect of a building or temporary structure • Unless the Council is in possession of an up-to-date set of building plans for the premises; • Unless the building or temporary structure complies with the requirements of these By-laws; and • For a period of validity exceeding 12 months. Form and content of certificate of fitness 22. A certificate of fitness must be in the form determined by the Council and must at least record the following information, where applicable: • The trade name and street address of each occupier of the building or temporary structure; • A description of the type of activity carried on by each occupier of the building or structure; • The full names and addresses of the persons who serve on the governing or similar body of each occupier; • The maximum permissible number of people who may be admitted to the useable floor area of the building or structure; • The number of emergency exits and their dimensions; and • The dates of issue and expiry of the certificate and its serial number. Duties of holder of certificate of fitness 23. The holder of a certificate of fitness must • Comply with the provisions of the certificate of fitness; • At all times – (i) Display the certificate prominently on the premises; and

(ii) Maintain the certificate in a legible condition; • Immediately notify the Chief Fire Officer in writing of any change to the trade name, activity or governing or similar body of any occupier of the building or structure; and • Submit any application for renewal of the certificate of fitness at least 30 days before its expiry in the form and manner determined by the Council together with the prescribed fee. Cancellation of certificate of fitness 24. (1) The Chief Fire Officer may cancel any certificate of fitness in respect of a building or temporary structure if he or she has reason to believe that • The owner or occupier concerned contravenes or fails to comply with any provision of these By-laws; or • The building or structure contravenes or does not comply with the requirements of these By-laws. (2) Subject to subsection (3), before the Chief Fire Officer cancels a certificate of fitness as contemplated in subsection (1), he or she must • Give the owner or occupier concerned written notice of the intention to cancel the certificate of fitness and the reasons for such cancellation; • Give the owner or occupier concerned a period of at least 20 days to make written representations regarding the matter; and • Consider any representations received. (3) If the Chief Fire Officer has reason to believe that the failure to cancel a certificate of fitness within the period contemplated in subsection (2)(b), may endanger any person or property, he or she may cancel a certificate of fitness without prior notice to the owner or occupier concerned. (4) If the Chief Fire Officer cancels a certificate of fitness in terms of subsection (3), he or she must • Furnish the owner or occupier of the building or temporary structure concerned with written notice of the cancellation; • Provide the owner or occupier a period of at least 20 days to make written representations regarding the cancellation; and • Consider any representations received. (5) The Chief Fire Officer may, after considering the representations contemplated in subsection (4), reverse the decision to cancel the certificate of fitness. FA

FIRE AFRICA l January / February 2012



SAESI gets new publication The publication was presented to SAESI Greater Northern branch, at the Erasmuskloof Fire Station. By: Keabetsoe Matshidiso Fire Africa is the official publication of the Southern Africa Emergency Services Institute (SAESI), and is aimed at assisting the Emergency Services Industry in achieving a safer community. On 25 August 2011, representatives from Interact Media Defined (IMD) presented the Fire Africa publication to an audience of various fire department personnel, with the aim of educating, engaging and empowering various emergency industries. The presentation included a breakdown of the services that will be provided by the publication as well as how

the community will benefit from the publication. The publication will be distributed to approximately 4 500 of the industry’s decision makers, who are both private and public, and will be available electronically and on print. FA For more information about the publication and its services visit

The first ever Some fun in the sun The first ever Southern African Emergency Services Institute (SAESI) Exco meeting was held in October 2011 in Secunda. By: Bronwyn Barnard This meeting proved momentous as it signifies a distinct change in the way in which SAESI will be operating going forward. Instead of a Council meeting once every two months and tabling items for approval and decision at the annual Council meeting, the Exco now has the authority to meet, discuss and rule on decisions at every meeting they attend. The Exco meetings will take place on a quarterly basis and the Chairpersons of all standing committees, and the branch committees, will be present in order to form the body of the Exco. The significance of this move is that decisions can now be made with immediate effect and changes and progress within the institute, and for the benefit of the members, will be smoother and faster, allowing for tremendous progress and growth within the Institute. FA

The 2011 SAESI council

FIRE AFRICA l January / February 2012

By: Bronwyn Barnard In true form, the Southern African Emergency Services Institute (SAESI), the Mpumalanga branch, hosted its annual inland fishing competition in style, with many memories formed and fishermen’s tales created. A great turnout for the event was evident in the 19 teams that took part in the competition last December. The teams were as follows: • Ekurhuleni Emergency Services – 3 teams • SASOL Secunda Emergency Services – 5 teams • Msukaligwa Emergency Services – 4 teams • Private – 3 teams • West Rand District Emergency Services – 1 team • Umhlathuze Emergency Services – 3 teams The results on the day were as follows: A total of 28 fish were caught with a total weight of 56 kg. The competition was divided down into various categories namely: 1. Heaviest carp 2. Heaviest team bag 3. Heaviest combo (barber and carp) 4. Young team with the heaviest bag Category 1 Heaviest Bag Winner: Andre Marx and Thys Malan, Team West Rand Flinstones (West Rand District Emergency Services) with a total bag weight of 10.430kg 2nd place: Karel Bodenstein, Team B-Team (SASOL) carp of 3.805kg Category 2 – Heaviest team bag Winner: Andre Marx and Thys Malan, Team West Rand Flintstones (West Rand District Emergency Services) with a total bag weight of 10. 430 kg 2nd place: Karel and Marietjie Bodenstein, Team B-Team (SASOL) with a total bag weight of 9.2kg Category 3 – Heaviest combo (Barber and carp) Winner: Andre Marx Team West Rand Flintstones (West Rand District Emergency Services) with a total bag weight of 8.120 kg 2nd place: Johan Johnstone, Team A-Team (SASOL) with a total bag weight of 7.165kg Category 4: Youngest team with heaviest bag Winner: Jaco Johnstone and Andre da Silva, Team Junior Smokies with total bag weight of 2.6kg. Poitjie kos winner - C Verimaak (Nelspruit) FA


Pride and passion In 2011 we yet again saw unrest in the Emergency Services sector. Once more, these essential service workers felt the need to demonstrate their unhappiness. By: Bronwyn Barnard Of greater importance has to be the continued acceptance of these Emergency Services sector strikes in South Africa and their increase over the last few years. This is particularly evident in previous strikes. Never mind the fact that the strike was illegal to begin with, never mind the fact that the individuals involved with the strike had acted reprehensibly and illegally on numerous levels. This did little more than set a standard deeming this behavior acceptable and effective for future disputes. This was all overlooked as the strike ran its course. The result - a reoccurrence of the act shortly after and very unhappy EMS staff that have never partaken in these illegal activities. The South African law The Labour Relations Act of South Africa states that employees in essential services may not strike and employers may not lock-out such employees. This is in line with generally accepted international principles. The Act defines emergency services as: •

A services, the interruption of which endangers the life, personal safety or health of the whole or any part of the population; • The Parliamentary service; and • The South African Police Service The Act goes on to state that should there be a collective agreement in an essential service that provides for a minimum service in that service, then employees engaged in the minimum service may not strike but the rest of the employees may. All disputes in essential services should go to arbitration if conciliation fails. John Brand, from the Association for Accountability in South Africa, comments that strikes in essential services are becoming all too common-place and are now often being accompanied by violence. Brand adds that the right to strike for the purpose of collective bargaining remains a fundamental right enshrined in Section 27 of The South African Constitution. Simply put, if workers’ could not, in the last resort, collectively refuse to work, they could not bargain collectively. Brand states that “there can be no equilibrium in industrial relations without a freedom to strike. The rationale behind collective bargaining is to maintain industrial peace and as Halton Cheadle says: “it is one of the ironies of collective bargaining that its very object, industrial peace, should depend on the threat of conflict. ’The protection given to this fundamental right to strike is thus based on the functional importance of strikes to collective bargaining. As it is sometimes simply put “collective bargaining without the right to strike amounts to collective begging.’” While the Labour Relations Act (LRA) does recognise the constitutional right to strike, it does so with certain limitations – one of which being that no person involved in essential services may engage in a strike. This has been justified in the following way: Brand comments that the essential services limitation on the right to strike in the LRA has not been subject to constitutional challenge and it is unlikely that it will be as it is clearly justified and properly circumscribed in its scope. He comments that “The Constitution permits rights in the Bill of Rights to be limited in terms of laws of general application to the extent that the limitation is reasonable and justifiable in an open and democratic society based on human

EMS workers need to use the correct channels to deal with grievances they have

dignity, equality and freedom. There is thus a need to balance the right to strike with other fundamental rights such as those to health care, food, water and social security which are also enshrined in the Bill of Rights. In order to achieve an appropriate balance, workers in essential services are conventionally excluded from the right to strike in open democracies and this exclusion has been sanctioned by the International Labour Organisation - but only to a limited extent. The Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) recommends that the right to strike should only be restricted in relation to public servants exercising authority in the name of the State and in relation to genuinely essential services, namely: • “those the interruption of which would endanger the life, personal safety or health of the whole or part of the population”. CONTINUED >>> FIRE AFRICA l January / February 2012





This does not mean essential services are left with no course of action or alternatives to strike action and have been given a powerful weapon in the form of arbitration as a substitute. Simply put, says Brand, “This process allows one party to refer a dispute in essential services to arbitration with or without the agreement of other parties. An arbitrator then has to determine the dispute as it would have been determined if strike action were permissible.” Consequences of an Unprotected Strike Should any person feel the need to take part in an unprotected strike, there are certain consequences that they should be mindful of. According to Brand: 1.



Such persons do not fall within the protection provided by the LRA which states a person taking part in a protected strike or in any conduct in contemplation or in furtherance of a protected strike do not commit a delict or a breach of contract in doing so. The result is that any person who suffers delictual or contractual harm as a consequence of an unprotected strike may claim damages from a union and or workers who participated in or furthered the strike. This may be done in terms of the common law or in terms of the LRA15 which gives the Labour Court the power to order the payment of just and equitable compensation for any loss attributable to the strike. In addition to this, the LRA empowers the Labour Court to grant an interdict, or order, to restrain any person from participating in a strike or any conduct in contemplation or in furtherance of a strike if the strike does not comply with the provisions of the LRA. Failure to comply can result in the Labour Court ordering a compensation payout. Thirdly, an employer may suspend performance in terms of, or cancel, a collective agreement as a recognition agreement if a union, or its members, act in breach of that agreement by participating in an unprotected strike. A further consequence of this is that an employer could stop making deduction of union subscriptions from a trade union’s members for as long as the union is in breach of the agreement.

FIRE AFRICA l January / February 2012

When questioning the industry about this growing trend one operations manager summarized the old school approach as follows: “Individuals in the industry need to realize why they are here. There are always going to be issues that arise, problems that crop up, but these need to be addressed by following the established routes for corrective approach and grievances. I believe this growing trend shows a complete disregard for the law and the individuals who believe it is their “right” to strike need to refrain from doing so and take a moment to remember the core function of the service. We are here to combat fires, partake in rescues and be involved in humanitarian services and most importantly we are here to serve our communities and not our own selfish needs. I would caution the individuals partaking in these activities to be careful. Their actions, like all other actions, will not go un-noticed.”When asked what he felt was the core foundation that was missing in the service today, he commented quite simply that it was discipline and that this could be addressed by bringing back stricter forms of discipline along with the military background of the past. A violent end Brand comments that although strike violence is antithetical to the idea of orderly collective bargaining and the freedom to strike even in non-essential services, it is common in South African essential service strikes. “The picket line becomes a place of violent conflict, with strikers pressuring non-striking workers to participate, and persuasion often evolves into intimidation. Frequently, the picket line becomes a war zone. Employers have responded to violence with court interdicts and orders limiting workers’ rights to picket in the vicinity of the employer’s premises.” He believes that this tends to move the violence to the homes of managers and replacement workers which is more difficult for employers to control. Brand adds that “Like interdicts against unprotected strikes, interdicts against strike related violence are often breached with contempt and employers have done little to empower the Labour Court to deal with the contempt. The criminal justice system has also generally failed to bring perpetrators of violence to justice and although strike violence is very common, successful prosecutions are very few. South African unions have found strikes hard to sustain because it is difficult for workers to lose pay for any protracted period and, as support for a strike has waned, the violence has often escalated as die-hard supporters try to keep it alive. The workers frequently come off second best - sometimes losing more in pay than they would gain if the employer accepted their demand, and substantially more than they gain from an eventual compromise.” While Brand believes that to prevent a repeat of the 2007 and 2010 strikes, a change is required, his advice going forward differs greatly from that of the stalwarts in the industry. Brand’s advice is that trade unions and the Government need to recommit themselves to the constitutional idea of pluralism, partnership and mutual gain. The parties need to recognise each other as legitimate entities with divergent interests in a constitutional democracy.” He adds that “There needs to be a major effort to ensure that parties embrace modern negotiation theory and practice. They need to move away from outdated adversarial negotiation toward modern problem solving and mutual gain negotiation. This kind of negotiation process is typically characterised by: • Joint training in modern negotiation theory and practice. • The use of independent and trusted expert facilitators. • Meticulous preparation for negotiation including detailed environmental scans and ‘swot’ analyses. • Adoption of problem solving methodology. • Exploration of causes, interests, needs, fears and concerns in negotiation. • A credible exchange of information. • Creative solution search. • Objective solution evaluation. • Trade across issues. • The creation of value. The flip opinion is, simply put, that the ‘“Prima Dona’ individuals dabbling in this behavior currently need to “shape up or ship out”. The EMS industry is not built on arrogance, selfishness or tantrums and, as such these should – at any stage – be entertained.”


What is the difference? What has always struck me about this industry is the absolute passion and dedication that has existed. When in discussions with older firefighters, this passion, dedication and love for the industry has always shone through. It has been the life blood of the industry – what has made this sector stand out from every other one. These firefighters are the foundation of a great industry. They are the giants of EMS – they are also the ones that would never dream, consider, contemplate going on strike. The comments that come from the mouths of these individuals go along the lines of “you don’t enter this industry because it is a job – you acknowledge it as more than a career. It becomes a way of life.” Today, however, this sentiment fails to shine through. EMS is a job to many and nothing more. Gone is the pride felt in providing a service (a critical service) to the community. Gone is the need to ensure the safety of a community above all else. And unfortunately, the “hand-in-hand” repercussion of these means that gone is the hero status of these individuals. In September 2011, was saw the ten year memorial services for the lives of the 343 fire fighters and police officers that were lost in the September 11 terrorist attacks. We saw individuals and entire communities come to a standstill for an entire day so that they could take the time to acknowledge and remember people they view as remarkable. We saw children lauding stations and the individuals left in these services. We saw young and old creating

celebrations for the living – the remaining “heroes” of their communities. More than that though, and of greater significance to me, if we cast our minds back 10 years, we saw individuals, men and women, strangers to the victims of the twin towers, donning their armour without a second thought, leading the way into battle and sacrificing themselves for men and women they had never met, and in any other situation, would never meet. Summarised, we saw firefighters. Real firefighters. Service men and women sacrificing themselves, not for overtime or benefits, but for the basic calling attributed to all firefighters and EMS professionals – to protect. FA

Designated Essential Services The ESC has over the past fifteen years carried out its mandate and it has, after due notice and public investigation, designated a large number of services as essential services. These are: 1. Municipal traffic services and policing. 2. Municipal health. 3. Municipal security. 4. The supply and distribution of water. 5. The security services of the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry. 6. The generation, transmission and distribution of power. 7. Fire fighting. 8. The payment of social pensions one month after they fall due. 9. The services required for the functioning of Courts. 10. Correctional services. 11. Blood transfusion services provided by the South African Blood Transfusion Service. 12. The following services in the public sector: 12.1 Emergency health services and the provision of emergency health facilities to the community or part thereof; 12.2 Nursing; 12.3 Medical and paramedical services; 12.4 The following services which support the services referred to in 12.1 - 12.3 12.4.1 catering; 12.4.2 medical records; 12.4.3 security; 12.4.4 porter and reception; 12.4.5 pharmaceutical and dispensary; 12.4.6 medicine quality control laboratory;

13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19.



22. 23. 24.

12.4.7 forensics; 12.4.8 laundry work; 12.4.9 clinical engineering; 12.4.10 hospital engineering; 12.4.11 waste removal; 12.4.12 mortuary services; and 12.4.13 pest control. The Eastern Province Blood Transfusion Service. The Western Province Blood Transfusion Service. The Natal Blood Transfusion Service. The Northern Blood Transfusion Service. The Border Blood Transfusion Service. The South African National Blood Service. The whole of the services provided by old age homes registered in terms of the National Welfare Act. The whole of the services provided by children’s homes and places of care in terms of Section 30 of the Child Care Act of 1983. Computer services provided or supported by the Central Computer Service of the Department of State Expenditure: 21.1 The Persal system; 21.2 The social pension system; 21.3 The hospital systems; 21.4 The flood control system. The regulation and control of air traffic. The weather bureau of the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism. The following services provided at all airports in South Africa: 24.1 All electrical services; 24.2 All safety services; 24.3 All security services.

25. Immigration officers grade 8 and above. 26. The following parts of sanitation services: 26.1 The maintenance and operation of water borne sewerage systems, including pumping stations and the control of discharge of industrial effluent into the system; 26.2 The maintenance and operation of sewerage purification works; 26.3 The collection of refuse of an organic nature; 26.4 The collection of infectious refuse from medical and veterinary hospitals or practices; 26.5 The collection and disposal of refuse at a disposal site; 26.6 The collection of refuse left uncollected for fourteen (14) days or longer, including domestic refuse and refuse on public roads and open spaces. 27. The following services provided by the private sector which are funded by the public sector: 27.1 Emergency health services and the provision of emergency health facilities to the community or part thereof; 27.2 Nursing; 27.3 Medical and paramedical services; 27.4 The following services in support of the services referred to in paragraph 27.1 - 27.3 above: 27.4.1 boiler; and 27.4.2 water purification.

References: 1. 2.

The Association for Accountability South Africa

FIRE AFRICA l January / February 2012


Cover story



for all

In November 2011 Buffalo City municipality undertook the commission of three new Lukas Hydraulic Rescue Tool sets, supplied by Hamilton Hydraulics

The municipality was fortunate enough at the time to be sponsored with three brand new Mercedes Benz C-Class vehicles by Daimler Chrysler Commercial Vehicles for the commissioning process. Jim Hamilton, owner of Hamilton Hydraulics, comments that “The Mercedes Benz is one of the hardest vehicles to perform a rescue on and so, to test the tools on these vehicles is great for the guys.” On the day of the commissioning, one of the teams from the Buffalo City EMS department arrived at the Mercedes Benz plant ready for some fun with these new tools! Ready to test and find any problems they possible could, the team immediately set to work on the three cars, breaking out windows and preparing them for the extrications. One of the first comments by the team was the lighter feel of the tools. The sets requested by the municipality were the Medium Duty Rescue Kits, comprising: • Lukus model S330 cutter • Lukus model SP 310 spreader • Lukus model the new P650 SG-ES heavy duty Power Unit complete with turbo function • R420 telescopic rescue ram • SC 357 Combination tool • 2 pairs of extension hoses 32.8 ft/10m long FIRE AFRICA l January / February 2012

Mono coupling The mono coupling on the new tools allows for quick changes of equipment and a free rotation of the tool for up to 360 degrees. An added benefit here is that both lines can be seen and inspected at all times and the traditional manual pressure release is now not necessary. Benefits to highlight are: • That the equipment can be changed quickly during operation. • Manual pressure release is not necessary. • Can be freely rotated by 360 degrees. • Is highly resistant to dirt. • Both lines can be seen and inspected at all times.

Cover story

On the day, the team were also given the opportunity to test the new eDRAULIC rescue tools. Lukas comments its latest offering is “the advanced hydraulics “eDRAULIC” resuce tools provide a “top-quality complete set for modern vehicle extrication and high performance reserves for future-generation vehicles.” They add that all essential rescue tools are available in a eDRAULIC version with cutters that have improved blade geometry reaching 77 percent more cutting force, full power and the “on-off principle: press the button and start to work. The complete benefit of the tools is that any power socket becomes an energy source providing unlimited operation. Lukas comments that “thanks to the optional battery operation, you remain flexible and effective for off-road rescue missions and large-scale accidents. The lithium-ion battery giver the rescuer enough power to overcome even the very latest vehicle construction technology. Just cable out, battery in – and off you go!” When speaking to Hamilton about the new tools he comments that “the advanced electrohydraulics of these tools ensure the EMS worker will be able to work at a multiple quicker and safer – with no loss of performance.” The distinct benefit of this tool is that the optional battery operation allows you to cope with off-road rescue missions. In addition Hamilton adds, “any power socket becomes an energy source that gives you unlimited operation.” Distinct benefits of the tools are: • The ability to work without power units and hoses. • The weight reduction by almost 50 percent in comparison to a conventional complete set.

• • • •

The high performance reserves for future-generation vehicles. The ability to save space on the truck. The ability to be completely independent in battery mode. The powerful lithium-ion battery.

An additional benefit of the tools is the Star Grip. The star grip permits fine control while working in difficult positions without the user having to twist their wrist. It is intuitive to use and gives the user the ability of being able to work precisely in order to ensure the safety of both the rescuer and patient. This means the rescue becomes far less stressful and strenuous for the rescuer as the handle and control are clearly separated. The cutter geometry of the tools prove sophisticated. The curved blades first close at the tips and then pull the object to be cut towards the point where the maximum force is applied. The rescue equipment then positions itself correctly and provides the rescuer with optimal support when applying the tool and cutting in order to effectively carry out the rescues safely and quickly. Benefits to highlight are: • The perfect pulling effect (as described above). • The object to be cut is automatically positioned where the most force is applied. • There is significantly reduced cutter wear. • There are higher reserves for future vehicle generations. Multifunctional tip Another benefit of these tools is found in the multifunction tip of the spreaders. The spreaders innately permit a variety of jobs to be carried out without having to change the tips. The rescuer can thus spread, squeeze, pull or create rescue openings with the ideally shaped curves on the end of the tips. Benefits to highlight are: • The variety of work possible with a single unit. • A faster rescue. • Reliable creation of rescue openings. • There is no need to change the tips. Met with these giants of the motor industry, the team on the day did not for one minute feel they were unable to cope with the vehicles. The tools, according to the team, performed well and cut cleanly through the vehicles. They comment that the trick to a good extrication, with a good set of tools, is to “let the tools do the work. Not to force any of the cutting. These tools were lighter to use, easy to manipulate and gave us increased access in the extrication.” A job well done and a successfully completed test, the tools stood up to the task at hand and handled the challenge with ease. The three new sets of Lukas tools are, according to the team, “an asset to their equipment arsenal.” FA

FIRE AFRICA l January / February 2012



Part 1

- Straight answers By: Neal Brookes

Think of a bubble that you blow

Neal Brookes

Compressed Air Foam Systems (CAFS) has been in use for over three decades. I have had a wonderful opportunity over the past five years to travel extensively, doing hundreds of CAFS demonstrations, live burns and other presentations. I am happy to report that there is an increased awareness of the existence and use of CAFS in structural suppression and other fireground operations. However, there still exists a lot of confusion and, in some cases, misconception as to what CAFS is and what it is capable of doing.

Defining CAFS is easy as an acronym, but what exactly is “CAFS” and what makes it so different from traditional methods of fire suppression? I am going to address many of these issues starting with the assumption that the reader has limited or no knowledge of CAFS. CAFS is not a new-fangled, magic pill, conjured up by some mad scientist/firefighter working in the basement laboratory. Rather, it is an improvement in the way we have been approaching fire suppression on the planet Earth for years. I imagine man discovered the extinguishing of fire sometime around the same era he discovered fire itself. Perhaps accidentally or in the event of an untimely rainstorm, his valiant efforts of rubbing sticks together, or wandering upon a recent lightning-struck tree were doused before his very eyes. And, folks, over the millenniums, we haven’t progressed a whole bunch from that point. Sure, we have better delivery systems and more reliable sources of water supply — hopefully. But alas, it is the same old water we have used for centuries as the preferred extinguishing agent of fire. In order to understand a “modern day CAFS system” we need to look at the sum of the parts. The CAFS system in theory and principal is comprised of the following critical elements. • First and foremost is water — water carried on the truck in a booster tank, water from a hydrant or folding canvas tanks, or water from a stream, lake, pond, swimming pool, or some similar source. • Second, is foam. For the purposes of this article, we will concentrate on Class A foam concentrate. A foam metering device, or ‘proportioner’, is needed to accurately inject foam concentrate into the fire stream. The foam concentrate/water solution may be pre-mixed in the tank, with pros and cons to be discussed.

The third ingredient for CAFS is air. Air can be introduced from a compressor which is a mechanical method of introducing high volume air into the fire stream by using a vane-type, or rotaryscrew industrial air compressor. Larger CAFS today use some type of on-board compressor.

Smaller portable units may also be pneumatic (non-mechanical) in design in which a vessel is pre-charged with air. This may be an independent air supply or may be used in the same vessel in which a pre-mixed foam/ water solution exists. These units can be as small as a backpack unit and as large as one requiring a motor vehicle to transport its contents. Now, let’s take a look at what happens if we use any of these elements solo or in tandem. First, let’s consider air. If you’ve ever attended a birthday party with a cake supporting a moderate fire load of candles, you know that with sufficient volume and force you can “blow them out.” In this basic example what we achieved by blowing across the flames of the candle was the rapid removal of the CONTINUED >>> FIRE AFRICA l January / February 2012








heat from its fuel source. While this method is obviously limited in its practical fireground application, it does exist. Many forestry units use portable air-driven backpack units, similar to leaf blowers, to propel the flames away from the fuel source. In structural fire fighting this could lead to disastrous results so, obviously, it is not used in suppression efforts. Next, take a look at foam. In the traditional sense, when the word foam is used in the fire service it conjures up visualizations of flaming gasoline-laden tankers on their side, spewing massive black clouds of smoke and intense flames. When faced with flaming tankers billowing black smoke, the only answer, you say, is to it hit with foam. In that respect you are correct, but as we review the various foam types, this is a scenario for the traditional foam we know as aqueous film forming foams (AFFF), and alcohol-resistant aqueous film forming foams (ARAFFF). While there are suppression systems using “pure foam concentrate,” they are generally relegated to industrial uses, such as a purging system to flood the contents of a tank or similar vessel. We more commonly see foam used in portable fire extinguishers and that is more often than not a foam solution, not a straight foam concentrate. The various notations on the extinguisher itself determine the intended use, such as Class A fires, Class A,B,C combinations, etc. Again, foam can be used in structural applications (Class A) as well. However, it is most commonly used as an additive and an enhancement to the water supply. Now, moving on to water, it might be good to ask why we use water in the first place. What are the positives that water brings to the fireground? In most cases, water is the preferred method of extinguishing fires. While water has many positive effects in extinguishing efforts, there are negatives as well. Consider, for a moment, that civilization needs water to survive. Since there is a supply available to sustain life, this means there should be a viable supply for fire suppression as well. It is there, often most readily available, and the least expensive extinguishing agent. However, let’s take a look at the poor inhabitant of the desert tending his flock with his limited water supply cautiously guarded in his goat flask. If his tent were to catch on fire do you think he would be using his last precious drops of water to put it out? In all probability, he would be kicking sand, and plenty of it because it is readily available, and it will get the job done. So, my point is just that — we use what is most readily available, effective and economically prudent. Something to keep in mind about water is that it has a high heat transfer value. That is optimized when used on fire through vaporization and

CAFS in use

An example of CAFS training

FIRE AFRICA l January / February 2012

conversion to steam. In essence, water and its cooling effect aids in removing the heat of combustion. Water is also easily transported and applied from long distances with modern-day fire apparatus. From the days of bucket brigades, to horse-drawn steam engines, the fire suppression service has seen vast improvements in apparatus, hose and application appliances. So, I believe it is easy to see why water is the choice of the fire service for suppression purposes. But, keeping that in mind, there are also some limiting factors, and perhaps even dangers, in using water. Here are some things to keep in mind when a decision is made to use only water as an extinguishing agent. Water lacks the ability to penetrate and has a propensity to run off of vertical surfaces due to the surface tensionof the water molecule. Surface tension in the fire service is a double-edged sword. If it were not for surface tension and the bonding together of the water molecules, our fire stream would hold no recognizable form as it exits the end of our hose. Without surface tension to keep the water molecules together, the water would simply disperse from our hoses in all directions and limit the distance, despite any efforts to propel it with modern pumps and nozzle devices. So in that sense surface tension is a necessary evil. On the other hand, it is surface tension that hinders the ability of water to penetrate or soak in, especially on carbonbased items. This is one of the primary reasons we add detergent foams (which just happens to define the chemical composition of a Class A foam) into our laundry. It is the foam or “soap” that breaks down the surface tension and allows our water to penetrate. This is not only important in getting our clothes clean, but decidedly more efficient in using water on the fireground for suppression. Have you ever noticed how a drop of plain water just puddles on a piece of charred wood and doesn’t soak in? That’s because of the water’s surface tension.. Another thing to think about when using plain water is sometime the amount of water available, or rate of delivery, is insufficient to overcome the heat generated by the fuel load. Gravity also causes a substantial decrease in the amount of water that effectively cools. And we shouldn’t forget that water is a conductor of electricity and can react violently with


This also requires larger fire pumps, additional fuel usage, and often leads to increased fatigue of men and equipment. You get the idea. Where large volumes of water are required to effectively achieve knockdown, there is a potential danger of structural collapse due to the additional weight of the water. Remember, a flow rate of as little as 250 gpm, (blitz attack) adds one ton of additional weight per minute of application! This creates an additional hazard on the fireground and has led to many firefighter and civilian deaths and injuries. In America, the National Fire Protection Association reports that 18 percent, or 56 firefighters of the total 316 firefighters killed at structure fires between 1989 and 1999, died because of structural collapse. In areas where water is not readily accessible, we often rely on transporting water to the scene in tankers.

The larger the fire, the larger the hose line This is a very time consuming and dangerous method of sustaining a continued attack. In addition, this practice injures and claims the lives of many firefighters, year in and year out. According to the “Firefighter Fatality Retrospective Study,” published in October 2001 by the National Fire Data Centre, motor vehicle collisions account for between 20 and 25 percent of all firefighter fatalities annually. According to that same data, more firefighters are killed in tankers (19.5 percent) than engines (13.8 percent) and ladders (3.2 percent) combined. Even though water is the best agent we have, there are undeniable truths as to its limitations and dangers in using water on the fireground. There are undoubtedly veterans out there who are sure to echo “we’ve been doing it that way for years and it still works.” Consider this, “you can kill a polar bear with a stick, too, but it just might not be the best method.” Now let’s move back to foam for a minute. In order to understand the importance of foam in the CAFS application, we need to examine the types of foam concentrates normally found on the fireground. We also need to go back to the basics and understand the various fuel classifications and look at what foams can be used on the different fuels. • Class A fuels are wood, plastics and rubber — three dimensional fires. Class B fuels are flammable liquids and gases and Class C are energized electrical fires while Class D are flammable metals. Class A foams can be used in structural fire extinguishing and overhaul, exposure protection and veld fires. • Class B foams are well suited for hydrocarbons and polar solvents, vapour suppression and extinguishing. And, lastly, we have emulsifiers and spill response agents which are good for vapour suppression and hydrocarbon recovery. There are also several foam concentrates, including synthetic detergents in Class A foam and high-expansion foam. Class B foam concentrates include protein and film forming fluoroproteins (FFFP), aqueous film forming foams (AFFF), and alcohol-resistant aqueous film forming foams (AR-AFFF). For the purposes of this article we are going to focus on Class A foam usage. Class B foam or more commonly AFFF, can be used in a CAFS system as well, but it is not commonly used in this manner and should not be used for structural applications. Here are some things we should know about Class A Foams: Class A foams are good at wetting and cooling fuels, suppressing flammable vapours and reducing smoke. Class A foam also has an opaque surface to reflect heat, creates insulating bubbles, holds water on any surface, is biodegradable and has low mix ratios 0.1 percent to 1 percent. For all of its qualities, Class A foam has some limitations related to the users’ confusion with

Class B and knowledge base, and in overcoming tradition. Now, let’s review some foam properties, terms and performance issues: • Surface tension indicates water’s ability to penetrate and spread regardless of drain time or expansion. Expansion ratios, volume of foam/volume of foam solution, are as follows: low 1:1 – 20:1; medium 20:1–200:1; and high 200:1+ Quarter life drain time is the amount of time for foam to release 25 percent of its water, which is an indication of foam’s durability. And lastly, we need to remember there are different types of foam, foam solutions, wet foam, fluid foam or dry foam. Now that we’ve looked at the first two elements of the CAFS, water and foam, let’s take a look at the air supply. For the purposes of this discussion we will focus on pumping apparatus utilizing arotary-screw compressor. The compressor should be high quality and suited for industrial-type applications. It should be capable of sustaining consistent, high-volume output of air (measured in Cubic Feet per Minute or CFM). The compressor might either be hydraulically-driven, belt-driven, or mated to the water pump or gear box. In order to make it a positive addition to the pumping apparatus, it is imperative that the compressor not add any significant weight, additional compartment space requirements, or complicated operation. The essential duty of the compressor is to aid in the formation of bubbles in the hoseline (referred to as scrubbing), and increase the distance at which the foam solution can be propelled from the point of discharge. The more discharge points to be applied on the fireground means an increase in the output capacity of the compressor. This is one of the reasons a CAFS system has increased costs, as a compact, reduced weight, industrial compressor is very expensive to manufacture. FA

The second part of this article will be published in the next issue of Fire Africa, March/April 2012

FIRE AFRICA l January / February 2012


certain metals, such as magnesium. In addition, untreated water might actually aid in the spread of hydrocarbon fires, such as gasoline, diesel fuels and similar liquids. It’s a fact that the larger the fire, the larger the hose line becomes to handle the additional volume of water being discharged. This equates into heavier handlines which require additional manpower and are often much more difficult to manoeuvre.




At St Patrick’s Cathedral

FIRE AFRICA l January / February 2012



Information submitted by Pierre Westerveld.

Article edited by Fire Africa

The Word Fire and Police Games 2011 was always going to be a big event. Taking place in New York 10 years after the 9/11 disaster, the stage was set for passion, pride and emotions The interest for the event was clearly visable in the over 17 000 participants, from 85 countries, participating in over 65 events. The structure of the games is similar to the World Firefighting Games with the only difference being the inclusion of the police and correctional services personnel into the event. Adding to the emotions were the continued news headlines of the impending arrival of Hurricane Irene. The impact this had on the organization of the games was utter chaos as, for the first time in the history of New York, the entire city was to be shut down from 14:00 on the Saturday to at least Monday. The implication of this was no buses, trains or subways, all three airports, and all the shops, were closed. A veritable ghost town, one was able to walk through the streets with only a few taxis running. The significance of this shut down was seen in the actions of some of the teams from Australia, Canada and Sweden who played rugby, soccer and ice hockey around Time Square – an area of New York where one can usually not even cross the streets unless by pedestrian crossing due to the business of the roads. New York came back to life on Monday morning at approximately 06:00 and the city was a hive of activity. The organisers’ had had to reschedule the weekend’s events and, as such, the Games got off to a shaky start. Organisation in general was problematic and the main reason for this was the lack of contingency plans put in place by the organizers. This resulted in some events being completely cancelled instead of re-scheduled, a situation that did not impress many contenders who had travelled from across the globe. The lawn bowls event, of which I was a contender, took place on Wednesday, 31 August. A total of 16 teams from Australia, Canada, England, Ireland, Malaysia, the USA, South Africa and many others took part. The competition was held at the New York Lawn Bowls Club in Central Park, a great experience. The standard remained high with almost everybody being regular club bowlers in their respective countries. In this instance, it was a case of rather the devil you know than the devil you don’t, as South Africa and Australia teamed up for the event. The team managed to win their section with no losses. They then went on to beat a team from Melbourne, Australia, by one in the semi-finals and progressed to the finals. In the final game they played against the Irish team, which came well-prepared with the luck of the Irish as well. The game progressed with no clear early leader and ended with the South Africa/Australia team leading by one in the last end of play. Then, with three bowls to play, the team was holding the shot and their skip played a drive, which is a shot at speed, and smashed the head apart. This resulted in the team going from holding a shot to the Irish team holding two shots, and potentially game, set and match. The South African/Australian team delivered their last bowl and did a draw, which came in for a measure for second shot. The Irish last bowl was short and did not count, so it went to a measure for second shot as the team already picked up a definite one, equaling the scores. It was a tight measure, but the Irish’s two-bowl was slightly closer and they took the game by one. Although disappointed

at first, it was a great, tense game played in great spirits. To win the silver medal was a fantastic feeling, putting South Africa on the medal tally. Always a great time for networking, friendships were formed and contacts made. The week leading up to September 11 proved interesting and uncomfortable. There were some terrorist threats and the army and police presence made one feel as if you were preparing for war.

There were numerous road blocks and a significant army presence at all stations, especially the underground subway system. Nevertheless, participants did not let this deter them.

There were numerous road blocks and a significant army presence at all stations, especially the underground subway system. Nevertheless, participants did not let this deter them and some met and visited some fire stations and marine stations. My highlight was going to Marine 6 where I saw the old fireboats that are still in operational condition. One was built in 1938 and has a monitor on the deck that can deliver 60 000 Gallons per minute. We then went to Marine 1 and saw the newest addition to the fleet; it is a 140ft state of the art, absolutely high-tech boat called Three-Forty-Three. This is the number of fire fighters that died on September 11. We had a very informative guided tour of the entire CONTINUED >>> FIRE AFRICA l January / February 2012


A journey not to be





A view of some of the 343 flags that were in the procession

boat and it really is a beauty. As September 11 drew closer, I took a few trips down to ground zero and had a look around. It really is a massive area and resembles a busy construction site at the moment, and probably still will for many years. Construction on the new towers is still underway, one of which will be the same height as the original towers. There is a memorial that is completed and was opened on 11 September by President Barack Obama. It was, unfortunately, not open to public yet and one had to purchase tickets to see it. First availability was 20 September. The memorial is referred to as “the footprints” and consists of two large granite pits with water cascading over the sides into another pit in the middle. The size and position of them is exactly where the actual twin towers stood and the pits have all the names engraved around the edges of the people who died. Trees have been planted around them forming a park-like area. It is both beautiful and sad. There is a visitor centre across from the site, which gives one an impression of what was experienced on that day. There are artifacts and examples of the bent and twisted metal from the buildings. Well, the weekend of 10 and 11 September arrived and with it many memorial and services taking place across the country. I chose to attend the Firefighters Memorial held on 10 September at St Patrick’s Cathedral. This was for the families of the 343 fire fighters FIRE AFRICA l January / February 2012

who died on September 11. The Cathedral seats approximately 300 people and was reserved for only family and senior FDNY members. They had an entire block closed off with big screens erected so people outside could watch the Memorial Service. It was an emotional time and one found oneself replaying the events of that day and thinking of what one would have done had it been you in that situation. Firefighters around the world are a brotherhood and whenever and wherever a fire fighter dies, it touches each and every one of us. In this case, it was 343 in one go – which is hard to comprehend at all. Some Departments in South Africa do not even have that many in their entire service. A touching moment was when they read out all the names and, at the same time, showed a picture of the firefighter on the screen. This took about 22 minutes to complete. There were a large number of firefighters from around the world who came to attend and they were all dressed in uniform. This echoed what a great profession this is and just how much of a global brotherhood it is – how much its members mean to each other. There is no other profession where such a bond exists. It is truly something special. September 11 arrived and was a beautiful day. The sun was shining and there was a definite calmness throughout the city. The normal hustle and bustle of New York was not present. There was a large ceremony and service held at Memorial Park on 100th street and Riverside Highway. This was for all the FDNY staff. It was an amazing service and an honour to be included . There is so much pride and honour in being a firefighter in America and this is something that is lacking in South Africa. Unfortunately, firefighters are not seen in the same light in South Africa as in other countries around the world. It is such an honourable and satisfying job, it really is the “Best job in the World”. The actual memorial is in a large park where there are 343 large American flags on flag poles planted on each side of the Memorial. Each flag represents a firefighter who died on September 11 and, to look at this sea of flags, placed into perspective just how many people 343 actually is. There was one very emotional point where a young woman sang Amazing Grace and about half way through the song she stopped and started crying. The entire parade of firefighters started clapping for her and she managed to gather her composure and finished the song off amidst a huge applause. It was an exceptionally emotional moment. There was a traditional wreath-laying after the ceremony and, once again, it was good to see the international community that also attended this. It was a special occasion for me as it was at the culmination of my own career as a firefighter as well. I will always remain a firefighter, it is in your blood, and my passion for the fire service will never die. It really is an eternal flame that any full-blooded firefighter will never be able to extinguish. FA

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Rural Metro Emergency Management Services (PTY) LTD ® is proud to announce that an innovative solution for Fire Precious Fanie , a Training Facilitator at Rural Metro - The first woman in Africa to enrole in the E learning program for Professional Firefighters

This solution is E-LEARNING, the modern alternative to traditional learning. E-Learning is inter-active, Internet-based training for professional Fire Fighters. This exciting new product augments the traditional format of training. This union between technology and a modern teaching approach is a guarantee of the growing success of distance learning. Approximately 78 percent of the African continent is rural. Traditionally, Fire Fighters from these remote areas find it difficult to access professional training facilities and products. These challenges, however, are not unique to the African continent. Canada, for example, is nearly eight times the size of South Africa. However, there are only three International Fire Services Accreditation Congress (IFSAC) accredited Fire Training Colleges within Canada that deal with the certification of Fire Fighters. Due to the large distances that Fire Fighters are expected to travel in order to get access to the three training academies, the Fire Services needed an innovative approach to deal with Fire Service training and certification. E Learning was introduced whereby learners access all the learning material and skills on-line. The renewal of knowledge acquisition program is a form of continuing education offered to all Fire Fighters who wish to upgrade their knowledge during their career. The renewal of knowledge acquisition program is carried out through: • Computerized revisions sessions of theoretical contents, • Practical sessions executed at the fire station. Currently, Firefighter I and Hazmat Awareness are on offer and these programs are available in both English and French. Furthermore, courses such as Firefighter II and other appropriate training programs are in the development stage. The distance module-type programs engage the adult learner in a flexible and active learning environment that facilitates many thinking

Fighter Training has finally arrived in Africa. modes. These learning programs offer a graphical interface that places the adult learner in a real work situation. The learner is solicited by interactive contents which involve him and stimulate him in his learning, either by animations or by visual elements. Learners watch, listen and interact with theory lessons and practical simulations. Revision and practice questions form part of learning. A Mentor/Monitor is available for support on site whilst the Academic Support is available via the internet or telephonically. Learners are also able to print lectures or practical sessions. The benefits of E – LEARNING; • Standardisation of training and instruction, • Reduced travel costs as learning takes place at the workplace or home, • No accommodation costs, • No meals costs as the learner is at the routine place of work, • No overtime costs, • Training is adapted to the learners pace of learning, • Learners are developed in familiar settings, • A personalised follow up and supervision with performance indicators is maintained, • No peer pressure to interfere with the learning process, • Real time administrative support, feedback and learner progress tracking. E-Learning is the future and Rural Metro is prepared to partner with you in the development of your Fire and Rescue teams to internationally recognised standards. Join us in this exciting journey into the future of Fire Fighter training and development. Lenny Naidoo | +27 (0) 82 828 3541 | Office Tel: +27 (0) 33 345 0080 | Office Tel: +27 (0) 33 345 2900 Office Email: 298 Burger Street, Pietermaritzburg, Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa, 3201




Principles of fire attack There are many important fire ground operations essential for safely and successfully mitigating a fire incident. None can do more than fire attack. By: Dan Howell

Considering the fire attack options

As such, fire attack is the key operation that all others evolve around. This article will highlight this information by first discussing some core rules of fire attack, and then examining the basic elements of fire attack. Fire attack is a constant source of debate in the fire service. This debate usually focuses on which nozzle, pressure, and pattern are best to attack a fire. At the heart of the discussion are three basic rules that all sides do agree upon. Rule Number One: Fire attack must be properly supported Fire attack does not exist in a vacuum. There are a number of important supporting operations that must be performed to allow for a safe and effective fire attack. These operations include size-up, command, water supply, stretching the attack line, stretching the back-up line, and initiating early ventilation. Without these operations, fire attack success will be decreased while the danger to firefighters will vastly increase. Rule Number Two: There must be adequate flow to knock down the fire Fire attack is a simple matter of physics. There must be enough water hitting the fire to eliminate the heat that is being produced. If the attack line does not have adequate flow, the fire will continue to burn while water supplies are being depleted. It is absolutely critical that the attack line flows enough water to achieve knockdown quickly. Remember! A lot of water real fast beats a little bit of water over a long period of time! Rule Number Three: The water must hit the seat of the fire In order for any amount of water to have any effect, it must reach the seat of the fire. It will not matter how much the attack line is flowing if the water is wasted; only the water level lights on the engine will go out. This rule requires the attack line to be properly positioned and then FIRE AFRICA l January / February 2012

There are dfferent techniques tot take into consideration with fire attack

repositioned as necessary so that the water is always hitting the fire. Another important consideration here is the penetration ability of the attack stream. There must be adequate flow and pressure available so that the water can penetrate the super-heated gases and actually reach the seat of the fire. These three core rules are beautiful in their simplicity and when considered, much of the fire attack debate becomes academic. This is because there is more than one way to accomplish each rule and the correct method is based on the situation, departmental necessities, and departmental preference. What is important is that fire fighters be able to determine which tactics are best for any given situation. These tactics are based on the basic elements of fire attack that include attack pattern, direction, and type.



An example of fire attack when dealing with a vehicle fire

Pattern Wide Fog Medium Fog Straight Stream

Reach Lowest Medium Highest

Heat Absorption Highest Medium Lowest

Steam Production Highest Medium Lowest

Push Potential Highest Medium Lowest

Attack Pattern There are three basic attack patterns that firefighters can choose from. These patterns are a wide fog, a medium fog, or a straight stream. Each pattern has advantages and disadvantages that determine when they should and should not be used. Refer to the chart below for more information. The above information makes it clear that fire fighters should select the pattern that will meet the demands of the current situation. A smooth bore is not listed on the chart because there is little difference between a smooth bore and a straight stream from a fog nozzle. Remember! Equal flows and pressures produce equal streams! Attack Direction There are two basic fire attack directions and they include attacking from the unburned side or attacking from the burning side. 1. Attacking from the unburned side – This means that firefighters are entering the structure and positioning the attack line between the fire and the uninvolved portions of the structure. This is the preferred attack direction because it contains the fire, protects occupants, and pushes heat and gases out of the structure if ventilation has been performed. However, attacking from the unburned side is the most dangerous and is not always practical based on fire location, intensity, and building construction. When this is the case, another option is necessary. 2. Attacking from the burning side – This means that firefighters are attacking the fire from the side that is burning and are not positioned between the fire and uninvolved areas. This attack direction is often the most practical and sometimes the only choice based on the situation such as when entry is not safe or obstacles make it impossible to attack from the unburned side. When this attack direction is selected, firefighters must remember that the fire can be pushed into other areas of the structure and onto any trapped occupants. The attack direction plays an important role in determining the attack pattern. When attacking from the unburned side, firefighters will need to maintain a tenable work environment. In this case they should limit steam production by using a straight stream or medium fog as ventilation levels allow. If firefighters are attacking from the burning side then it may become necessary to limit the spread of the fire by using a straight stream.

Attack Type There are three basic fire attack types that include indirect, direct, and combination attacks. Each is classified based on where firefighters direct the water. 1. Indirect Attack – When an indirect attack is performed, firefighters apply water on the heated gases at the ceiling. 2. Direct Attack – When a direct attack is performed, firefighters apply water on the seat of the fire. 3. Combination Attack – When a combination attack is performed, firefighters apply water on the heated gases and on the seat of the fire. This is the most common attack method and usually takes the form of a circle that starts at the ceiling and then rotates clockwise to the floor and back to the ceiling. There are number of important things to remember about the different attack types. wmes fully involved, the seat of the fire is the entire room. The ceilings, walls, floors, and everything in between are burning and the need to identify the heated gases from the seat of the fire is meaningless. What is important is that water reaches the fire. Firefighters have many options when preparing for fire attack. They should choose an attack direction and then pick a pattern that will meet the needs of the current situation. When this is done properly, firefighters will meet the core rules of fire attack and successfully accomplish many priorities of the incident. Future articles will continue the discussion on fire attack by building on the information presented here. FA FIRE AFRICA l January / February 2012




New tricks

for old tools

By: David Dalrymple

Extrication cutting the roof rails

FIRE AFRICA l January / February 2012



our patients safely and rapidly to produce better patient outcomes. The more options you have in your mental toolbox, the better for you and your patients. There is no easy solution to these extrication issues. Just make sure you have the most powerful hydraulic cutter; a reciprocating saw equipped with good rescue blades; and a good rescue air chisel with long, sharp bits. Your hydraulic spreader and rams will come in handy in ways you might not have thought of before. Remember, as with any extrication evolution, protect the patient. Place hard protection between the patient and your tool work, manage any glass, cover any sharp edges, and observe how the evolution’s progress is affecting the patient. Roof strip or trench This evolution has actually been around for quite awhile, as has the roof flap evolution. But the roof flap really doesn’t give you the space you need (except on SUVs, minivans, and station wagons), and you still need to cut roof posts for it to work. The roof strip, or trench, removes the center of the roof from between the roof rails from front to back. This enables you to quickly remove most of the roof with a lot less weight to manage. However, with today’s vehicles, this evolution enables you to avoid cutting the areas where most side curtain supplementary restraint system (SRS) inflation modules are placed. You still need to pull edge trim prior to cutting, but except for the Jaguar S-type and Volkswagen

‘If you need to remove the roof around only the driver of a minivan, why spend the time, effort, and personnel to remove the entire roof’

Golf, Rabbit, and Jetta models, the vehicle should be free of these devices. Although you might still encounter higher-strength roof-rail reinforcements, they should not be as strong as the roof posts. Using the hydraulic cutter, make a relief cut inboard of both roof rails at the front and the back. Then take a reciprocating saw, or a rescue air chisel, and make a cut connecting the relief cuts on both sides. Although you can use the reciprocating saw or rescue air chisel for the entire process, the hydraulic cutter will make short work of any higher-strength reinforcements on the roof edges. Use caution in making cuts, since the blades or bits will extend into the vehicle’s occupant space. Use hard protection and good visual referencing as you work. After removing the roof section, cover the sharp edges on each side, since these cuts will be sharp and jagged. Although this evolution will not remove the entire roof, it will facilitate removing patients up and rearward vertically.. Roof sectioning On larger vehicles such as SUVs, minivans, and even station wagons, the roof structure is fairly large. Flapping the roof by folding it in a certain direction can create a decent amount of space to aid in patient management and disentanglement. However, these vehicles also permit another option - sectioning the roof. If you need to remove the roof around only the driver of a minivan, why spend the time, effort, and personnel to remove the entire roof, or even flap the roof, when you could just remove the section above the front occupants, or even just immediately above the patient? As with roof trenching, you must use good, hard protection, good visual positioning, and eventually good sharp edge protection. However, roof sectioning facilitates quick roof access above the patient; if correctly sized, it also allows you to remove the patient vertically. As you cut into the roof edge and posts, you must pull edge trim and manage glass as needed. FA FIRE AFRICA l January / February 2012


We need to reexamine our extrication tools and evolutions in light of the construction and materials used in today’s vehicles (e.g., high-strength metal alloys, hybrid components, and crushand-crumple zones). Using a mix of old techniques, current evolutions, and new concepts will enable us to disentangle





Pre-hospital intubation

A study by David Lockey, Rowan Hardy and Gareth Davies, suggests that intubation, particularly without the assistance of drugs, does little to improve the outcome with trauma patients. Compiled by: Bronwyn Barnard in association with David Lockey and Timothy Hardcastle However, as intubation remains in practice, the fundamental aspect to remember is that the same standards and expertise need to be applied in the hospital and outside of it. Lockey comments that even although there has been a general lack of well conducted studies, many people still believe that drugassisted tracheal intubation is a core skill in effective pre-hospital trauma care. The reason for this? “We believe that hypoxemia, particularly in the context of a head injury, is associated with poor outcomes and we often see severely injured patients that are hypoxaemic but that still have airway reflexes, thus making intubation without drugs difficult or impossible.” Lockey adds that intubation without drugs does not appear to be useful for the following reason: “We are concerned that this vulnerable period may be prolonged because we are aware of the fact that the majority of the first hours following an accident are spent in the pre-hospital phase.” While this may appear to be prolonged, scene times include emergency call times, dispatch times, transport from the scene, and the unloading times. In addition, these times only apply to non-trapped patients. Where a patient has been trapped, the times extend for an even longer duration. Lockey rationally comments that, “We cannot imagine that any ethics committee would give approval for a study where patients with head injuries were left hypoxaemic for this period of time in the emergency department unintubated, compared with those who were provided with skilled intubation on arrival.” Lockey adds that he sees no reason as to why a patient should not be intubated in FIRE AFRICA l January / February 2012

On-scene tracheomy

the pre-hospital phase provided that, when an RSI is performed, there is a standard of care similar to that achieved in the emergency room. In addition, he deems it safe only if all potential risks and benefits have been weighed up and considered. The South African context In South Africa, intubation may only be performed by an advanced life support (ALS) paramedic present at the scene. Timothy Hardcastle and Thomas Goff conducted research into Trauma Unit Emergency Doctor Airways Management. The study was as follows: Objectives To audit indications for and practice (in terms of training/qualification) of definitive airway management compared with current UK practices. Design Consecutive observational study. Setting Tygerberg Academic Hospital Trauma Service, Western Cape. Subjects All trauma patients either arriving intubated, or requiring intubation, at the Trauma unit during the period 1-31 August. Outcome measures A data collection proforma was completed either at the time of intubation or from medical records.



Motor vehicle accident (MVA) was the predominant mechanism of injury, accounting for 30 (52.6 percent) patients, while 16 patients (28.1 percent) had penetrating injuries (gunshot and/or stab wounds), six patients (10.5 percent) had blunt trauma, and the remaining five patients (8.8 percent) suffered serious burns. Conclusion The most common indication for intubation was a Glasgow Coma Score (GCS) of less than eight, typically in the polytrauma patient with suspected head injury due to MVA. Emergency doctors managed 100 percent of definitive airway in-hospital, and RSI was the favoured method. This differs greatly from the UK where nonanaesthetists only perform between 31 and 56 percent of trauma intubations, with the rest performed by anaesthetists. Outcome was, however, similar to that described in the literature. Timothy Hardcastle, deputy director of training at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital in Durban, comments that, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Airway management is the single most important intervention in the emergency setting. Recognising the need for a definitive airway is life saving, and therefore identification of a problem with an airway is paramount. In recent years the responsibility for tracheal intubation has shifted from anaes-

thetists to emergency department doctors who are in a better location (due to presence in the unit) to as rapidly and safely secure the airway as anaesthetists. With this change, appropriate training has been required to ensure that doctors have the necessary skills and competency to manage the emergency airway. Trauma units receive a relatively high proportion of patients requiring definitive airway control, and this responsibility falls to the on-duty trauma doctors, unlike current UK practice where a significant percentage of trauma intubations are performed by anaesthetists. The purpose of this study was to ascertain current, definitive airway management practices, to evaluate the primary indication for intubation given the mechanism of injury, and to report the outcomes. Seven patients (12.3 percent) were admitted having already been intubated by paramedics, 18 (31.6 percent) were referred intubated from surrounding secondary-care hospitals, and 32 (56.1 percent) were intubated in the unit. Endotracheal intubation was successful in 96.5 percent of cases, with only two patients (3.5 percent) unsuccessfully intubated despite several attempts by senior doctors, and therefore these patients underwent emergency surgical cricothyroidotomy. Clinical outcomes reflecting the injury severity of the average case load include 12 patients (21 percent) weaned and extubated for ward transfer, seven patients (12.3 percent) admitted sedated and ventilated to the intensive care unit (ICU), 21 patients (36.8 percent) taken to surgery, and 17 patient deaths in the resuscitation unit (29.8 percent). A further three patients died following surgery and two died in ICU, giving an approximate overall survival rate of 61.4 percent. The two ICU deaths were both MVA head injuries, GCS 3 and GCS 4, and a poor prognosis was expected.

The most common indication for intubation was a Glasgow Coma Score (GCS) of less than eight, typically in the polytrauma patient Two patients died following traumatic cardiac arrest on the operating table, one with a gunshot wound to the abdomen and one with a stabbed chest (thoracotomy), GCS 3 and GCS 12 respectively. A further postoperative death occurred in an MVA driver with a GCS of seven --a computed tomography (CT) scan of the brain demonstrated injury incompatible with life. When pre-intubation GCS levels are compared with the mortality for head injuries, it is noted that those with a GCS level [greater than or equal to] 5/15 (33 percent of all head injuries) had a high mortality (50 percent of all head injury-related mortality), compared with those who had a GCS level [greater than or equal to] 6/15 (3/32 = 9 percent mortality). Discussion A hypotensive patient may survive many hours untreated but an apnoeic patient will die within minutes, therefore the most important aspect of trauma care is maintaining airway patency. While the clinical decision-making process for endotracheal intubation of the acute trauma patient is largely evidence-based, occasions arise where the professional judgement of the clinician is more heavily relied on. For example, moderate traumatic brain injury (GCS 9-12) is conventionally not an indication for a definitive airway, however progressive neurological deterioration may well be sufficient persuasion for intubation. A clear history of neurological decline was documented from the time of injury to the point of intubation in only one of the 57 intubations in this study. The challenge is to assess whether such clinical decisions are appropriate. The NEAR study (20) also documented the relative minority of surgical airways required, in keeping with the findings of this study, due to a high percentage (96.5 percent) of successful endotracheal CONTINUED >>> FIRE AFRICA l January / February 2012


Results Fifty-seven patients required definitive airway management. In the unit, 32 patients (56 percent) were intubated by emergency medicine registrars or medical officers, with rapid-sequence intubations (RSIs) in all 32 (100 percent). Seven patients (12.3 percent) were intubated by paramedics pre-hospital, and 18 patients (31.6 percent) were intubated at referring hospitals by nonanaesthetists. Endotracheal intubation was successful in 55 patients (96.4 percent). Two patients (3.6 percent) could not be intubated and therefore underwent surgical cricothyroidotomy at the unit. Clinical outcomes included 12 patients (21 percent) extubated for ward transfer, seven patients (12.3 percent) admitted to an intensive care unit (ICU), 21 patients (36.8 percent) taken for surgery, and 17 patients (29.8 percent) died.





intubations. The study by Graham et al. (15) involving 735 RSIs documented an 83.8 percent success rate for emergency department doctors, which further supports the necessity for continued skill implementation. A prospective study over a longer period would be ideal, but this was not possible. This study did not assess immediate complications of intubation, or attempt to draw comparisons between pre-hospital

and in-hospital-based intubations as this was beyond the scope of this project.


The study is purely a descriptive report of the intubation practices at Tygerberg Academic Hospital trauma unit, and as such cannot be applied generally to the whole of South Africa. Patients were selected on a consecutive basis for a limited 1-month period and therefore no allowance was made for seasonal variations that the department may experience. FA

(12.) Beale JP, Graham CA, Thakore SB, et al. Endotracheal intubation in the accident and emergency department (Abstract). J Accid Emerg Med 2000; 17: 439. (13.) Bush S, Gray A, Mcgowan A, Nichol N. Rapid sequence intubation (Letter). J Accid Emerg Med 2000; 17:309. (14.) Walker A, Brenchley J. Survey of the use of rapid sequence induction in the accident and emergency department. J Accid Emerg Med 2000; 17: 95-97. (15.) Graham CA, Beard D, Oglesby AJ, et al. Rapid sequence intubation in Scottish urban emergency departments. Emerg Med J 2003; 20: 3-5. (16.) Matzopoulos R. A Profile of Fatal Injuries in South Africa 2000: Second Annual Report of the National Injury Mortality Surveillance System. Violence and Injury Surveillance Consortium. (2001). Injury and Safety Monitor 2002; 1(1): 3-4. (17.) Al-Salamah M, McDowell I, Stiell IG, Wells GA, Nesbitt L. Multicenter comparison of the predictive value of the Revised Trauma Score and the Glasgow Coma Scale. Acad Emerg Med 2003; 10: 476-477. (18.) Arbabi S, Jurkovich G, Wahl W, et al. A Comparison of prehospital and hospital data in trauma patients. J Trauma 2004; 56: 1029-1032. (19.) Davis D, Serrano J, Vilke G, et al. The predictive value of field versus arrival Glasgow Coma Scale score and TRISS calculations in moderate-to-severe traumatic brain injury. J Trauma 2006; 60: 985-990. (20.) Brown CA, Walls RM. National Emergency Airway Registry (NEAR III): An initial report of 3 342 emergency department intubations. Acad Emerg Med 2004; 11: 491. Department of Surgery, Stellenbosch University, W Cape Timothy Craig Hardcastle, MB ChB, MMed (Chir), FCS (SA) (Clinical Head, Trauma Service)

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risk management

As is the case with the national and provincial disaster risk management structures, each district and metropolitan municipality must establish a Municipal Disaster Risk Management Policy Framework, a Municipal Disaster Risk Management Advisory Forum, a Municipal Interdepartmental Disaster Risk Management Committee, and also a Municipal Disaster Risk Management Centre. By: Prof. Dewald van Niekerk, Director: African Centre for Disaster Studies, North-West University, South Africa All of the above must be consistent with the provisions of the Disaster Management Act, the National Disaster Management Policy Framework, and the structures established in the other spheres of government. It is a legal requirement that district municipalities consult with the local municipalities in their area of responsibility on the establishment and management of any institutional aspects for disaster risk management. The main aim of any municipal disaster risk management centre is to endure that the focus in planning and application of disaster risk management is on risk and vulnerability reduction in communities most at risk. Municipal disaster risk management centres are responsible for the compiling of disaster risk management plans. These plans must be integrated into the Integrated Development Plans (IDPs) of each municipality. The IDP of any municipality is the most important governing document. All planning and budgeting for development and service delivery must be contained in the IDPs. The inclusion of the disaster risk management plan into the IDP follows the rationale that development interventions remains the best disaster risk reduction measure avail-

able to any developing state. Thus an integration of the disaster risk profile of a municipality on the one side, with its medium- to long-term development objectives, on the other, should occur. Municipal Political Forum dealing with Disaster Management On the municipal level, the political incumbent responsible for disaster management is not legislated. The Disaster Management Act does, however, clearly indicate that the municipal council elected for each category A and C municipality holds ultimate responsibility for disaster risk management (see Sections 45, 50 and 54). From this perspective one can therefore argue that a clear indication of a political incumbent for disaster risk management is necessary. The Disaster Management Act stipulates that the municipal disaster risk management centre must report back to council on an annual basis. This reporting should be done through the appropriate portfolio or mayoral committee. Disaster Management Act further stipulates that the council of a district and metropolitan holds primary responsibility for the coordination of events in the case of a local state of disaster. In terms of post-disaster recovery and rehabilitation, Section 56 states that any financial assistance rendered by any national or provincial organ of state to the local sphere will take into account the presence of any prevention and mitigation (disaster risk reduction) measures and if it is found to be lacking will hold the municipality council in question responsible for the recovery of the losses. The need for political ownership of disaster risk management on a political level for local government is quite evident. All disaster risk management related actions should still occur within the municipal disaster risk management framework. The Municipal Disaster Risk Management Framework (MDRMF) The development of a MDRMF is a legislative responsibility (see Section 42 of the Disaster Management Act). The MDRMF aims to ensure an integrated, coordinated and uniform approach to disaster risk management in the municipality in question. The presence of a MDRMF CONTINUED >>> FIRE AFRICA l January / February 2012


Careful attention needs to be given to funding for disasters in South Africa




<<<CONTINUED in a category C municipality becomes even more significant, as this policy document must regulate the interaction between the different local municipalities and the district municipality. The integrated approach to be followed in the development of ant MDRMF is also important as the policy should ensure a uniform approach between municipal organs of state as well. It should be mentioned that although the MDRMF will be more operational in nature, it still remains a strategic policy document for the local government sphere. The framework should spell out clear objectives but will not link these to definite timelines and budgets, but will provide the impetus towards the development of such specific plans. These plans will address the realities at local municipal level and will be guided by the MDRMF. The Municipal Disaster Risk Management Centre (MDRMC) The establishment of a municipal disaster management centre is compulsory (see Section 43 of the Disaster Management Act). Each metropolitan and district municipal council must establish such a centre (South Africa, 2004:18).

A key responsibility of MDRMCs is to provide support to the relevant provincial disaster risk management centre and the National Disaster Management Centre. It must ensure that the local disaster risk management policy is implemented and that the objective and priorities of provincial and national disaster risk management are achieved. A district MDRMC must be established and operated in partnership with the local municipalities in its area of jurisdiction. The MDRMC holds responsibility to ensure that appropriate institutional capacity for disaster risk management is established for the implementation of the Disaster Management Act, and that these institutional arrangements are consistent with that on provincial and national level (South Africa, 2004:19). Each MDRMC must develop progressive risk profiles that will inform the IDP and the development of the municipal disaster risk management plan. The national policy stresses the importance of awareness creation by MDRMC and the fostering of a culture of risk avoidance. This means, training, education, capacity building and research should enjoy priority. The Municipal Disaster Risk Management Advisory Forum (MDRMAF) A municipal disaster risk management advisory forum is a consultative forum which consists of a number of internal and external role-players to the municipality. The responsibility of this forum is to provide advice to the MDRMCs on the implementation of disaster risk management in the area of the municipality. The Disaster Management Act places no legal obligation on the local sphere of government for the establishment of an MDRMAF. The National Disaster Management Policy Framework (NDMF), however, indicates that it is difficult to envisage how, in the absence of such a forum, disaster risk management could effectively be implemented (South Africa, 2004:26). It is therefore clear that, although the NDMF cannot enforce the establishment of an MDRMAF, it strongly suggests this. Without an MDRMAF, the principles of cooperative governance to which the Constitution and the Disaster Management Act refer, will become very difficult to realise. In the absence of such a body as the MDRMAF, the municipality is obliged to make use of an existing or similar body on which issues of disaster risk management can be discussed (such as established management structures). The Municipal Interdepartmental Committee on Disaster Risk Management (MIDRMC) It has become common practice in South Africa to also establish an MIDRMC at municipal level. Whereas the disaster risk management advisory forum contains a number of outside role-players, the aim of the MIDRMC is to provide a forum for technocrats to discuss and solve disaster risk related problems. Senior individuals from all municipal departments normally have seating on this committee. In order to ensure involvement in disaster risk management related activities, disaster risk management becomes part of the job description of the individuals in question.

Risk assessment strategies are key to ensuring effective measures are used when dealing with these incidents

FIRE AFRICA l January / February 2012

Local Municipality Disaster Risk Management vs. District Municipality Disaster Risk Management The previous sections emphasised that the Disaster Management Act gives the legal obligation for disaster risk management to the district municipality. This does not, however, mean that the local municipalities have no role to play. District municipalities act as intermediaries between provinces and local municipalities for effective resource distribution and service delivery. The district municipality should therefore be the focal point around which disaster risk management is organised. The Disaster Management Act does not preclude any local municipality from establishing its own disaster risk management structures. The only requirement placed on local municipalities is that all their actions (and that of the district) should be coordinated and should be done on a partnership basis. The Disaster Management Act further stipulates that upon agreement, a local municipality can accept responsibility for the coordination and management of local disasters up to the extent that it has capacity. This therefore assumes that a local municipality can development its own disaster management capacity. Considering the emphasis that the Disaster Management Act places on community risk reduction it is unthinkable that all the ideals of the Act will be achieved from a centralised district municipality. The decentralisation of disaster risk management functions to local municipalities is therefore imperative.


Funding for Disaster Risk Management at Local Government level in South Africa The National Disaster Management Policy Framework recommends funding arrangements which is supposed to cover expenditure associated with the following disaster risk management activities: • The so-called start-up activities; • The continuous disaster risk management operations; • Disaster risk reduction; • Response, recovery and rehabilitation activities; and • Training, capacity-building and research. Although these provisions in the Disaster Management Act and the guidelines in the Framework exist, it is not always clear which processes should be followed by municipalities to access this funding, especially when it should be provided by the other two spheres of government (national or provincial). It is also not clear to what extent municipalities should fund disaster risk management from their own budgets. To this end the National Disaster Management Centre (Visser & Van Niekerk, 2009) commissioned research to focus on this specific problem. The problem that was identified can therefore be summarised as follows: Municipalities, especially districts municipalities, experience difficulties to make funding available for establishing and maintaining the disaster risk management function that is their responsibility in terms of legislation. In order to address this problem a number of questions had to be answered by this study. These questions were the following: • Which best practices followed internationally for the funding of disaster risk management can be utilised in the context of local government in South Africa. • What type of funding can be made available to local government by the other two spheres of government? • How can the funding made available by the other two spheres of government be accessed by municipalities? • For what purposes should municipalities provide funding in their own budgets for disaster risk management? • How could the existing municipal budget votes provide direct and indirect funding for disaster risk management? • To what extent can local and district municipalities work together to ensure that adequate funding is provided for the establishment and maintenance of a Municipal Disaster Management Centre and disaster management units? Objective of the study The primary objective of this study was therefore to develop a funding model for the disaster risk management function of municipalities that could provide some level of certainty and stability in the management of it. Research methodology A literature study of primary and secondary sources was undertaken to provide a sound basis where possible for this study. From the literature study, a sound theoretical basis was established and best practices determined in terms of which the findings of the study could be evaluated and put into perspective. As far as the collection of data is concerned, a qualitative research approach was used for this research project. In terms of this approach, three case studies were identified to cover the three categories of municipalities in South Africa, namely a metropolitan municipality (category A), a district municipality (category C) and a local municipality (category B). For each case study semi-structured interviews were conducted with different functionaries within each municipality, including the official responsible for disaster risk management or the Head of the Municipal Disaster Risk Management Centre, the CFO (Chief Financial Officer) and the official responsible for integrated development planning. Some elements of historical research were also utilised to a certain extent as far as the

analysis of planning documents (Integrated Development Plan and service delivery and budget implementation plan (SDBIP)) and the approved annual and medium term budget documents are concerned. The information obtained from these three municipalities was also verified by interviews with senior officials of the National Treasury and a provincial Department responsible for local government, at the levels of Chief Director and Director. Statutory and regulatory framework for disaster risk management funding arrangements in South Africa Although schedule 4 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, Act 108 of 1996, designates disaster risk management as a concurrent national and provincial competence, section 23(7) of the Disaster Management Act 57 of 2002 places the responsibility for certain disaster risk management activities squarely within the local government sphere by stating “Until a disaster is classified as either a national or a provincial disaster, it must be regarded as a local disaster”.

This provision is supported by section 10A of the Municipal Systems Amendment Act

This provision is supported by section 10A of the Municipal Systems Amendment Act 44 of 2003 which imposes new constitutional obligations on local government. In terms of this provision the Cabinet member, MEC or other organ of the state initiating an assignment of a function or power to a municipality in terms of section 9 and 10, must take appropriate steps to ensure that sufficient funding is available and capacity building initiatives are undertaken as may be needed for the performance of the assigned function. The use of municipal funds for disaster response, relief and recovery efforts is, however, regulated by section 29 of the Municipal Finance Management Act (MFMA) 56 of 2003. In terms of this section the mayor of a municipality is allowed to authorise unforeseeable and unavoidable expenditure arising from an emergency situation. Such CONTINUED >>> FIRE AFRICA l January / February 2012


Linked to the very important institutional arrangements for disaster risk management is the issue of funding. It would be foolish to assume that municipality will implement disaster risk management out of the available funds on their existing budgets. A relook at disaster risk management funding is therefore needed.




<<<CONTINUED expenditure must be ratified by the council in an adjustments budget within 60 days after the expenditure have been incurred. In addition, section 29(2) of the MFMA states that unforeseeable and unavoidable expenditure may not exceed a certain percentage of the budget, which restricts the amount of funds available to respond to emergencies. Such a percentage must be determined by the National Treasury and prescribed through regulations, which were not issued yet. As far as funding is concerned, it should be kept in mind that disaster risk management has certain unique characteristics which differ markedly from other public services. The reason for this is that disasters risks are by their very nature unpredictable and require an immediate and decisive action. The National Framework therefore acknowledged that it is crucial that a balance is struck in the financing framework between the need for financial controls and oversight on the one hand and the need to ensure that rapid response and recovery are not compromised on the other hand. Section 214(2)(j) of the Constitution therefore explicitly refers to the requirement that “the need for flexibility in responding to emergencies” should be used as one of the criteria for the equitable division of nationally collected revenue among the three spheres of government. Table 7.1 of the National Disaster Management Framework recommends funding arrangements for the different disaster risk management activities based on a submission of the Financial and Fiscal Commission on the Division of Revenue for 2003/2004 financial year (DPLG, 2005:93). To make this table more specific to municipalities Table 1 is included below as a point of departure for a description of these funding arrangements. Table 1 Funding arrangements for disaster risk management of Municipalities Activity Funding sources Start-up activities National government On-going DRM operations New assignment to local government Disaster risk reduction Districts municipalities Low-capacity, resource-poor municipalities1 Response, recovery, Local government rehabilitation and reconstruction Education, training and Local government capacity building programmes

Funding mechanism Conditional grant for local government – district and metropolitan municipalities, where necessary Increase in the I (institutional) component of the equitable share of local government Own budget – can be augmented by application for funding to the NDMC for special national priority risk reduction projects Additional funding provided by the NDMC Access to central contingency fund once threshold is exceeded Conditional grant, i.e. Municipal Infrastructure Grant (MIG) Own budgets and reimbursement through SETAs Public awareness programmes and research activities can be funded by private sector, research foundations, NGO’s and donor funding

Notes: 1. Low-capacity, resource-poor municipalities identified through creation of a composite index that takes into account the operating income of municipalities and their capacity classification as determined by National Treasury.

FIRE AFRICA l January / February 2012

Currently there are no dedicated funding mechanisms for disaster response and recovery operations, and resources are not released quickly enough to maximise the effectiveness of response activities. The fundamental principle underpinning provisions relating to funding in the Act is that all organs of state must budget for costs involved in disaster response and recovery. This principle places the onus for funding the initial costs associated with a disaster on the organs of state involved in response and recovery operations. Once budgets for response and recovery activities have been exhausted, the relevant organ of state may request financial assistance from national government. Financial assistance will only be provided after taking into account the disaster risk reduction measures taken prior to the onset of the disaster. National guidelines for the classification and declaration of states of disaster issued by the NDMC will help reduce the incentive for provincial and local governments to declare disasters with the intention of getting financial assistance from other spheres of government. The Act entrenches this principle of selffunding by allowing the Minister for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs to prescribe that a percentage of the budget of a municipality will act as a threshold for accessing future funds from the national contingency fund. When prescribing thresholds for municipalities, the correct base for calculating the budgetary allocations needs to be identified. In general, municipalities in South Africa, raise a substantial part of their own revenue. As a result the operating revenue could be a good indicator of a municipality’s relative fiscal capacity. Given the significant differences in revenue-raising capacity across municipalities, the threshold percentages should vary accordingly. It was therefore proposed that municipalities be categorised according to their own revenue. Information on own revenue per municipality can be accessed from the National Treasury’s annual Intergovernmental Fiscal Review. The proposed percentages are shown in Table 7.2 of the National Framework and municipalities could therefore be categorised according to their own revenue (DPLG, 2005:104). This table is adapted and presented below as Table 2. Table 2 shows four categories of municipalities, each category having a


Table 2 Proposed threshold percentages for local government budgets Classification of municipality Metropolitan municipality Municipality with own revenue of over R150 million (excluding metros) Municipality with own revenue of R50 million to R150 million Municipality with own revenue of R1 million to R50 million

Basis for calculation Own revenue

Threshold % 0,5

Own revenue


Own revenue


Own revenue


Findings Based on the findings of the study, certain conclusions can be made that should guide the development of a municipal funding model for disaster risk management. These conclusions will subsequently be outlined in terms of each of the funding areas identified in the Disaster Management Framework. Funding for start-up activities It was clear that not any of the municipalities, especially the district and the metropolitan municipality, receive any conditional grants or subsidies from the national or provincial government for the establishment of a disaster management centre. In most cases they have to provide such funds from their own budgets. It is, however, clear that district and metropolitan municipalities can request that MIG (Municipal Infrastructure Grant) funding be provided to establish disaster management centres. This view was specifically supported by the National Treasury, since this conditional grant deals with the development and maintenance of municipal infrastructure. Funding for on-going activities As far as the on-going activities of disaster management centres and unit are concerned, it was evident that all municipal disaster management centres have to budget for funds (operating expenditure) that are required to sustain their on-going, daily activities and operations. There was no evidence found that the revenue collected nationally, which municipalities should receive, has increased. It is therefore necessary that the planning and budgeting process of the municipal disaster risk management centres forms part of the integrated development planning and medium term revenue and expenditure budgeting process. There is, however, no reason why municipalities cannot reprioritise the use of the equitable share that they received from the national government and also use a certain portion of it for the funding of the on-going operations of their disaster management centres and units. It was also clear that the provincial disaster management centre does not provide such funding to municipalities. Funding for disaster risk reduction It was evident that the municipalities that were used as case studies, do not budget for disaster risk reduction. Although this is an area that should actually be budgeted for by the various line-departments, it was clear that they do not understand how they can indirectly budget for disaster risk reduction and why it is important to do so. In this case the communication and coordination are mostly done on an ad hoc basis and not effective, since the forums/committees where budgeting for disaster risk reduction have to be discussed do not function as well as they should. It was also clear that the municipalities do not have any opportunity to apply for funds from the NDMC for special, national priority risk reduction projects, which could augmented their budgets. The intention of the Disaster

Management Framework was that low capacity, resource-poor municipalities should be identified through the creation of a composite index that takes into account the operating income of municipalities and their capacity classification as determined by National Treasury. Funding for response, recovery, rehabilitation and construction efforts Up to now the municipalities used as case studies in this project did not have to apply for contingency or emergency funding from the national government, since it could only be done once a disaster has officially been declared in terms of the provisions of the Disaster Management Act, and they did not experience such situations yet. In such a case it is also required that their emergency expenditure has to exceed the threshold (0,5 to 1,0 percent), as determined by the National Disaster Management Framework, in terms of the estimated own revenue. As a result they have funded the expenditure on smaller incidences from their own budgets after section 29 of the MFMA has been applied. In some cases they have also received some financial support from other organs of the state that has to deal with social welfare, the districts municipality, or the provincial disaster management centre, especially in the case of response and recovery. Businesses and the public also contribute to the relief or response efforts of municipalities and as such there should be a drive to establish better relationships with businesses and to involve businesses and the public to a larger extent in these response activities. As far as rehabilitation and (re-) construction of infrastructure are concerned not one of these municipalities has utilised MIG funding for rehabilitation or reconstruction purposes after a disaster event. Funding for education, training, capacity building and research From the interviews conducted with the role-players at municipalities it is clear that funding for education, training and capacity building should be provided for in the budget of a municipality. The funds spent on education, training and capacity building could be claimed back in terms of the skills levies that municipalities have to pay to the sector education and training authorities (SETAs), in this case the LGSETA CONTINUED >>> FIRE AFRICA l January / February 2012


different threshold percentage. In order to ensure that municipalities make meaningful provision for disaster response and recovery operations, municipalities with a lower amount of revenue collected have been assigned higher percentages.




<<<CONTINUED (Local Government SETA). It is therefore necessary that municipalities ensure that their workplace skills plan is submitted to the SETA by the skills development facilitator of the municipality. As far as research is concerned municipalities can in many cases enter into agreements with higher education institutions to conduct the research that is required. The respondents at municipalities did, however, feel that research has to be undertaken to assist them in improving disaster risk management at municipalities. They should therefore take the lead or give direction with regard to the type of research that should be conducted and also become more involved in conducting the research themselves. That will also require that they have to be educated and trained to undertake research. In the case of the metropolitan municipalities the idea is that they appoint a professional person to conduct and coordinate the research at the municipality. That would also mean that they have to budget in future for the execution of research projects, including the equipment and facilities required. Conclusion The decentralised structures for disaster risk management are an absolute necessity. Disaster risk management cannot be effected though a centralised approach. The role of the public sector as facilitator of disaster risk management activities becomes crucial. In order to achieve the ideals of Disaster Risk Management, one should not assume current funding mechanisms in municipalities would be adequate. Concerted effort and political will to allocate the necessary funding remains imperative. It is clear from the study conducted that the recommended funding arrangements included in the National Disaster Management Framework for South Africa, to cover the cost of the different disaster risk management activities, are not applied in practice by the different spheres of government that should assist municipalities with funding. Based on the findings and conclusions drawn from the information obtained during the study, a more flexible funding model (se Visser & Van Niekerk, 2009) has been developed to address the funding problem experienced FIRE AFRICA l January / February 2012

by municipalities in the past. It was, however, very interesting to note that when the data obtained from the different municipalities was analysed, there was almost no difference in the problems that the different categories of municipalities have experienced as far as funding for the disaster risk management function is concerned. This is a clear indication that it was not only an isolated problem within a specific municipality or category of municipalities, but a general constraint across the board in all municipalities. The conclusions made, based on the case studies used for this project, can therefore be generalised to a large extent to all municipalities in South Africa.

References • •

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Blaikie, P. Cannon, T. Davis, I. & Wisner, B. 1994. At risk: Natural hazards, people’s vulnerability, and disasters. New York: Routledge. Bull-Kamanga, L., Diagne, K., Lavell, A., Leon, E., Lerise, F., Macgregor, H., Maskey, A., Mashack, M., Pelling, M., Reid, H., Satterthwaite, D., Songsore, J., Westgate, K. & Yitambe, A. 2003. From everyday hazards to disasters: the accumulation of risk in urban areas. Environment and Urbanization. 15(1). pp193- 203. Department of Provincial and Local Government see DPLG De Satge, R. 2002. Learning about livelihoods: Insights from Southern Africa. Cape Town: Periperi Publications. DPLG. 2005. National Disaster Management Framework for South Africa issued in terms of the Disaster Management Act 57 of 2002. Pretoria: Government Printer. Falconer, A. & Foresman, J. 2002. A System for Survival: GIS and Sustainable Development. Redlands: ESRI Press. Ingleton, J. (ed.) 1999. Natural Disaster Management. UK: Tudor-Rose. International Strategy for Disaster Reduction see ISDR ISDR. 2002. Living with risk: A global review of disaster reduction initiatives. Preliminary version. Geneva: ISDR Secretariat Karimanzira, R. 1999. Sustainable Development and Disasters: Challenges for Southern Africa. (In Risk, Sustainable Development and Disasters Southern perspectives. Cape Town: Periperi Publications.) Jegillos, S. 1999. Fundamentals of disaster risk management: How are Southeast Asian countries addressing these? (In Risk, Sustainable Development and Disasters Southern perspectives. Cape Town: Periperi Publications.) Lohnert, B. & Geist, H. 1999. Coping with changing environments: Social dimensions of endangers ecosystems in the developing world. Aldershot: Ashgate. Munich Reinsurance Group. 2003. [Web: asp]. [Date of access: 21 July 2003]. Rosenthal, U., Comfort L. & Boin, A. 2001. Managing Crisis: A Global Perspective. USA: C.C. Thomas Publishers. SADC. 2001. SADC Disaster Management Strategy. Gaborone: SADC Southern African Development Community see SADC South Africa (Republic). 2004. Draft National Disaster Management Framework. Notice 974 of 2004. Pretoria: Government Printer. United Nations Inter-agency Secretariat of the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction see UN/ISDR UN/ISDR. 2004. Living with Risk: A global review of disaster reduction initiatives. Geneva: UN/ISDR. Venter, A. (Ed). 2001. Government and Politics in the New South Africa. Pretoria: Van Schaik. Visser, R. & Van Niekerk D. 2009. A funding model for disaster risk reduction in municipalities in South Africa. National Disaster Management Centre. Potchefstroom: African Centre for Disaster Studies. Von Kotze, A. 1999a. A New Concept of Risk? (In Risk, Sustainable Development and Disasters Southern perspectives. Cape Town: Periperi Publications.) Von Kotze, A. 1999b. Learning from Risk Reduction (In Risk, Sustainable Development and Disasters Southern perspectives. Cape Town: Periperi Publications.) FA



After two weeks, these irradiated strawberries are still fresh



Radioactivity has a myriad of uses, but do we truly understand the different types of radioactivitty? By: SAESI Education Committee All matter is made of particles called Atoms. Every atom contains a nucleus which is made up of Protons and Neutrons. Nuclei hold vast amounts of energy, called Nuclear Energy. Some substances are Radioactive. This means that their atoms release some of this energy as radiation. This can be dangerous to living things, but can be used in many ways.

Alpha particles move slowly and are stopped by any substance thicker than paper. They are identical to the nuclei of helium atoms and scientists think helium is created by natural radioactivity in the Earth. Beta particles are more penetrating than alpha particles and many move at almost the speed of light. Gamma rays are the most penetrating. Range of radioactive particles • Alpha particles travel less than 10 cm in air and are absorbed by thick paper. • Beta particles have a range of 1m in air and are absorbed by 1mm of copper. • The intensity of Gamma rays is halved by 13 mm of lead or by about 120 m of air.

Types of radiation When a substance is radioactive, it is said to be unstable. The atoms become stable by losing some of their nuclear energy as radiation. The type of radiation that the atoms give out is either alpha, beta or gamma radiation. The first two are streams of particles. The last takes the form of gamma rays, which are an extremely powerful form of electromagnetic waves. • Alpha particles are clusters containing two protons and two neutrons. • Beta particles are high-energy electrons emitted when a neutron in the nucleus decays. • Gamma rays are high-energy electromagnetic waves that move at the speed of light. The Greek letters below are used to describe the different types of radiation.

Uses of radiation In industry, radiation is used to check the thickness of sheets of paper and plastic. Tiny irregularities can be detected by measuring the amount of beta radiation that passes through the sheets. Food, such as fruit and meat, can be irradiated with gamma rays, and this keeps it fresh. In hospitals, doctors use radioactive tracing to follow a substance through a patient’s body. For example, to see how a patient’s body deals with sugar, they can attach some radioactive carbon-14 to molecules of sugar and track the radiation given off by the carbon-14.

A nucleus first throws off either alpha or beta particles, and then, if it has extra energy, gamma radiation.

Radiotherapy uses carefully controlled doses of radiation to kill cancer cells, which are living cells that are growing in a disorderly way.

Radioactive decay After ejecting particles, a nucleus becomes the nucleus of a different element. This is called radioactive decay. If the new element is also unstable, the process of decay will continue until there are atoms with stable nuclei. For example, when the unstable radioactive substance plutonium-242 gives off an alpha particle (which consists of two protons and two neutrons), it becomes uranium-238. The length of time it takes for the nuclei of an element to decay is measured by its half-life. This is the time taken for half of the nuclei in a sample to decay. Every element has a different half-life. Radium-221 has a half-life. Radium-221 has a half-life of 30 seconds. Uranium-238 has a half-life of 4 500 000 000 years. Carbon dating Carbon dating is a method of calculating the time that has passed since living matter died. All living things contain a small amount of carbon-14, which has a half-life of 5,700 years. When living things die, the carbon-14 decays. The age of the remains can be calculated by measuring how much radiation is still being given off. Danger! Radioactive substances are transported in thick lead containers to prevent radiation from escaping. Exposure to radiation can cause burns, cataracts and cancer. FA FIRE AFRICA l January / February 2012





Fire engineering in South Africa - Lessons from 20 years of a prescriptive -based building code By: Karel Roodt – WSP Consulting Engineers The practice of fire engineering in South Africa has approximately 20 years of experience operating under a prescriptive-based building code. When one delves intot he history, it is evident that the industry emerged as a result of a radical change in building regulations and council building ordinance’s in 1987, and the publishing of revised SABS 0400 in 1990. Recently there has been an allowance by prescriptive codes for a change from a heavily prescriptive regime to a performance-based set of rules. This change has taken place almost overnight. Simply put, performance-based fire engineering is embraced as a new way of producing innovative designs. The fire engineering industry has matured over the years from a rather naive start in its infancy and this has been due to a few painful learning experiences. There are, however, still a few challenges that need to be addressed as the practice of fire engineering settles into a structure and method of operating that is universally accepted by all the stakeholders. History To understand the current state of fire engineering in South Africa, it is necessary to first understand the history of the underlying legislation and building regulations that govern the construction and building industry in South Africa. The country operates under a fragmented set of building controls that are made up of a combination of government (national) and local authority (regional) regulations, all of which is based on prescriptive requirements. In 2008, the South African National Building Regulations was amended and this formed the creation of a uniform code (SANS 10400). This specifically referred to the Part T fire safety code which allows for a prescriptive and performance-based building code throughout the country. It is administered by the local authorities with regulations developed by a quasigovernmental Building Industry Authority (BIA). The prescriptive and performance-based building code (SANS 10400 Part T) is accompanied by a set of prescriptive, deemed-to-comply documents known as the “Acceptable Solutions”. The Building Act is intended to cover all building regulations in one piece of legislation and, indeed, included a clause to the effect that no authority could require a building to be constructed to a standard that exceeded the minimum building code standards. The intention is to deliver an environment that permitted innovative design of buildings while ensuring that basic code requirements were met. In most areas of the building code, the Acceptable Solutions are prescriptive and based on generic information applicable to most buildings, but in the case of the fire FIRE AFRICA l January / February 2012

safety minimum acceptable solutions, the T section states: T1 GENERAL REQUIREMENT 1. Any building shall be so designed, constructed and equipped that in case of fire (a) the protection of occupants or users, including persons with disabilities, therein is ensured and that provision is made for the safe evacuation of such occupants or users; (b) the spread and intensity of such fire within such building and the spread of fire to any other building will be minimized; (c) sufficient stability will be retained to ensure that such building will not endanger any other building: Provided that in the case of any multi-storey building no major failure of the structural system shall occur; (d) the generation and spread of smoke will be minimized or controlled to the greatest extent reasonably practicable; and (e) adequate means of access, and equipment for detecting, fighting, controlling and extinguishing such fire, is provided. 2. The requirements of sub-regulation (1) shall be deemed to be satisfied where the design, construction and equipment of any building complies with SANS 10400-T: Provided that where any local authority is of the opinion that such compliance would not


comply with all the requirements of sub-regulation (1), such local authority shall, in writing, notify the owner of the building of its reasons for its opinion and may require the owner to submit for approval a rational design prepared by an approved competent person. This minimum acceptable solution is to comply with SANS 10400 Part T which covers a prescriptive and performance base design philosophy, of satisfying the South African Building National Building Regulations for fire safety in buildings. The methods given are particularly appropriate for simple, low-rise buildings. However, for individual complex buildings, alternative solutions developed from specific fire engineering design could produce more economical results. However, the SANS 10400 Part T goes on to give prescriptive requirements for all possible buildings. Although they are intended as a ‘cookbook’ set of requirements that could be used by anyone for a simple building, they also required specific design in some circumstances but are silent on who could carry out the specific design. There is vague requirement for any minimum level of qualification or competence to undertake a specific design, “A competent person accepted by the local authority”. There are no specific guidelines to the competence requirements of a competent fire safety designer except that each local authority must determine competency and that the designer must comply with the requirements of National Building Regulation [NBR] Regulation A19. Indeed, there is no protection on the title ‘fire engineer’ in South Africa. There is nothing to stop anyone from calling themselves a ‘fire engineer’ and carrying out fire safety designs. The only protection (one not relating specifically to fire engineering) is on the status of Professional Engineer (PEng), for which one is required to undergo a five-yearly competence assessment carried out under the auspices of the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA). The early years In the years that followed the initial publication of the Acceptable Solutions, it became common for fire safety designs to utilize portions of the Acceptable Solutions combined with departures justified by anything from simple opinion to calculations. Providing the local authority was satisfied with the justification, a building consent could be granted and the building constructed. Some consent authorities requested an independent peer review of the design, but there was no mandatory process for checking of fire safety (or any other building code feature, for that matter). The fire safety design was usually articulated as a ‘fire report/ rational fire design ‘, which was often a brief document that included a mixture of analysis to show how the building complied with the building code, combined with a summary of requirements that the architect or other designers had to include into their respective designs. In many cases, the fire report was not commissioned or prepared until after the majority of the building design had been completed, so the fire engineer was under pressure to justify that the design complied with the building code. Alternatively, it was not uncommon for preliminary fire reports to be produced early in the design process and the fire engineer not consulted further. There was no mechanism in the process for ensuring that the design intent was fully implemented in the final construction. Where interpretations were required, the Local Authority was consulted and determinations issued. This allowed for a benchmark or minimum standard, rather than a more conservative design solution as they were originally intended. The principle that specific fire engineering design could produce more economic solutions has been pushed aside. Alongside the Building Act, there is other legislation, the Fire Service Act and Occupation Health and Safety Act, which covers (amongst other things) the procedures that govern the evacuation of buildings in the event of fire. This is the legislation under which the fire service operates and includes their powers to approve (or not) the evacuation scheme required by most commercial buildings.

A major setback In the mid-1990s, numerous fire men, and anyone with a sort of fire safety understanding, started up their own consulting companies to assist the building industry in fire safety designing, known as rational fire design. Due to inadequate building guidelines on fire safety, and some local authorities having inadequately qualified fire safety inspectors, the liability was often ultimately left with the owner, as the original developers had disappeared. However, it also became apparent that the buildings had been constructed based on only very sketchy documentation with minimal justification of how the designs met the building code.

There still are concerns with the quality of fire safety designs currently being produced.

This has resulted in the local authorities becoming very risk-averse in all areas of building compliance. Any design that departed from the Acceptable Solutions was treated with a high degree of suspicion to the point where the time and effort spent justifying the design was often more onerous than the potential benefits that the alternative design could deliver. There still are concerns with the quality of fire safety designs currently being produced. Some designs are being approved based on very sketchy documentation, and with limited justification. There are instances of buildings being denied their fire safety scheme approval, even though they complied with the building code (despite the legal position where features in excess of the Code could not be mandated). This has led to a lack of confidence in ‘fire engineers’ to produce designs that will satisfy the regulators and thereby meet the client’s objectives. In part, the blame for this situation can be laid with an inadequate process to develop a fire engineering brief in the early stages of CONTINUED >>> FIRE AFRICA l January / February 2012





The fire engineering industry has matured over the years from a rather naive start in its infancy and this has been due to a few painful learning experiences

the project. Some designs are undertaken almost in complete isolation of the remainder of the stakeholders outside of the direct project team. This is partially in ignorance of the importance of the process, but is also due to bad experiences with regulators who did not understand the concept of a rational fire design and now recently performance-based designs. A lack of general agreement on some of the basic design parameters also means that some projects are placed on hold as agreement can’t be reached. Recent changes Move forward to 2008. The Building Act was given a major rewrite with the intention of tightening the building controls and improving the level of documentation required before an approval to build (a ‘building consent’) could be granted. The new regulation provides the local authority with an approval and acceptance process for every project where the fire engineer will have to submit to council an application “form 2” to be accepted to do a rational fire safety engineering design, code compliance or performance base design on a project. The local authority is therefore tasked to investigate the credentials of the fire engineer. The local authority fire safety inspectors are tasked with reviewing aspects of fire safety designs relating to means of escape and fire service operations that deviate from the Acceptable Solutions. They are intended to be independent of the design process and so will not engage in any discussions during the design process or during their reviews. There is some friction with the practicing fire engineering community when review comments are perceived as being out of context of the design or asking for features that are seen as exceeding the requirements of the building code. Some local authorities carry out full peer reviews of designs - a task that is outside of their mandate and these local authorities. What local authorities do not understand is the liability that fire engineering has and that altering their design transfers liability to them as the local authority. Current challenges So, to summarize the issues the fire engineering profession is currently facing: • Design documentation that is of a highly variable quality • Regulatory authorities that are reluctant to accept alternative designs as these are seen as a liability risk FIRE AFRICA l January / February 2012

egulatory authorities understaffed R and unqualified to review fire engineering designs • Designs being carried out by unqualified ‘fire engineers’ • A fire engineering briefing process that is underutilized and not well understood by designers or regulators • A lack of consensus on basic design data • A lack of consistent design implementation during construction • Inadequate local tertiary universities to provide fire engineering as an degree. The recommendation of providing a program to educate other stakeholders in qualifications and experience should be held by individuals before they can rightly be called upon to carry out specific fire engineering designs. The intention is to restore the confidence of the regulators in accepting designs of fire engineers who can demonstrate their competence. The fire safety engineering community should be meeting with the local authorities to improve the dialogue between the regulators and practicing engineers. Another challenge is to improve the quality of fire engineering design documentation. There have been some guidelines on what is appropriate to include within the design documentation and how the design should



be articulated. The move is away from a ‘fire report’ to properly separate the design specification (e.g., the requirements of the fire safety design that must be included in the designs of the architect and other design professionals on the project) and the design verification and calculations that demonstrate to the approving authority that the design meets the objectives of the building code. This is an on-going program that will result in guidelines that will assist both fire engineers and those using their services. Successes However, it is not all doom and gloom. There have been some good examples of successful projects where the design team and other stakeholders have developed a fire engineering brief and followed through to a properly documented and approved design, with successful implementation in construction. These projects have recognized the value in investing time early in the project to gain agreement of the stakeholders.

The practice of fire engineering in South Africa has approximately 20 years of experience operating under a prescriptive-based building code

3. An example is a recent major development of a large retail wholesaler where the client has been able to incorporate their own requirements and procedures for property protection to exceed the minimum Code requirements (i.e. extended escape distances, provision of a properly fire engineered smoke extraction system) but also make use of this additional protection to improve their business risk of other features that would otherwise have been mandatory. There have also been some successful projects that have utilized specific fire engineering design as alternative solutions to the prescriptive documents, which have allowed the building design to incorporate features that would otherwise have been impossible. The client’s input at the early stages of the design has encouraged their complete involvement in the process and enabled them to make well-informed decisions in the full knowledge of the possible outcomes.The challenge remains to make these successes the benchmark for all projects. The future Fire engineering has been in danger of being forced out of existence due to the perception that alternative designs are too risky (by the regulators) or did not deliver the benefits (to the clients). However, with a move to more involve the stakeholders in the briefing process, and to improve the quality of the design documentation, practicing fire engineers who are already doing quality designs, or those who recognize the problem and take action, will lift the discipline of fire engineering to where it should be. The challenge is to maintain and increase the confidence of the clients and their architects to allow them to produce designs that are innovative without being stifled by the current prescriptive Acceptable Solutions. The international concept behind the development of technical guidance on fire safety is provided in three different levels. This permits a design approach to be adopted that corresponds to the complexity of the building and to the degree of flexibility required. The three levels are as follows. 1. General approach. This level is applicable to a majority of building work undertaken. In this case the fire precautions designed into the building usually follow the guidance contained in the prescriptive codes published by the relevant government departments to support legislative requirements. 2. Advanced approach. This is the level for which international codes is provided due to the shortfall of local codes. Guidance provided in these international codes and design document gives a more transparent and flexible approach to fire safety design through use of a structured approach to risk-based design where designers can take account of varying physical and human factors. Much of the guidance in the documents is based on fire safety engineering principles, although it is not intended as a guide to fire safety engineering. (i.e. Approved document B, BS 9999, International fire code (IFC), NFPA 1 & NFPA 101)

F ire safety engineering. This is the level for which proper fire engineering calculations and fire test results is provided in specific international fire engineering codes. This level provides an alternative approach to fire safety and can be the only practical way to achieve a satisfactory standard of fire safety in some large and complex buildings, and in buildings containing different uses. (BS 7974, CIBSE Guide and SFPE handbook)

There might be circumstances where it is necessary to use one publication to supplement another, but care needs to be taken when using a “pick-and-mix” approach as it is essential to ensure that an integrated approach is used in any one building. While primarily intended for designers, fire engineers and fire safety managers, it is expected that these international codes will also be of use to: • specifiers, contractors, site supervisors and site safety officers; • owners, tenants, occupants, facility managers, safety officers and security staff; • regulators and enforcers, including building control bodies, fire authorities, health and safety inspectors, environmental health officers, and environmental agencies. • International codes are designed as a co-ordinated package covering the four main areas that influence fire safety measures, namely: • fire safety management; • the provisions of means of escape; • the structural protection of escape facilities and the structural stability of the building in the event of a fire; • the provision of access and facilities for fire-fighting. FA FIRE AFRICA l January / February 2012




PPE and NFPA Standards

In a number of previous columns, the usefulness of several National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards has been explained. This article describes what it means for a product to be certified to an NFPA standard. By Jeffrey O. and Grace G. Stull The fire service and other emergency response organizations specify products that comply with NFPA standards as these standards set the minimum requirements for product design and performance as established by a balanced consensus process. The use of standards helps to free the end user from knowing all the details related to the construction and materials used in products. The evidence that PPE meets a specific NFPA standard is found on the product itself in the form of the product label. The product label contains specific information identifying the product, such as the manufacturer name, contact information, style or model number.

Certification has been established to help improve firefighter and emergency responder protection and to ensure the quality available

There can be no shortcuts when it comes to protective clothing for employees

End users rely on personal protective equipment (PPE) for their health and safety during emergency operations. It is the emergency responderâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s expectation that PPE provide the highest possible level of protection along with other qualities that permit the products to usable under a variety of exposure conditions.

FIRE AFRICA l January / February 2012

Other information on the product label includes the product size, principal materials of construction, cleaning precautions, and a serial number or other means for tracing the product back to its production lot. For purposes of certification, the most significant parts of the product label are the compliance statement and the certification organizationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s mark. The compliance statement


indicates that the specific product meets the requirements of the relevant NFPA standards(s). This language is set in the standard itself and is not supposed to be altered. Language such as “Designed to meet…” or “Meets the relevant portions of …” are not true compliance statements. Only products that meet all requirements of a NFPA standard, including independent third-party certification, can carry this compliance statement. Third-party certification is demonstrated by the appearance of the certification organization’s mark on the product label. The mark of the certification organization on the product label is testament to the fact that the PPE item has been independently certified. Only product labels with a mark such as those certified by Underwriters Laboratories (UL) or the Safety Equipment Institute (SEI), have met all the rigors of a third-party certification process required by each NFPA product standard. The certification process specified by each NFPA product standard is by far the most comprehensive and detailed set of requirements that are used for the certification of PPE. This process requires independent testing by the certification organization or its laboratories to establish that the product meets every requirement in the standard. This testing is carried out when the product is first submitted for certification, but is continued for as long as the product is presented as being certified on an annual basis through follow-on testing. But certification is much more than product testing.

to ensure that manufacturers, which they certify, comply with the different standards. However, some manufacturers may take shortcuts or misrepresent their products. There have even been circumstances where false certification claims have been made and products that should not comply with standards are represented as meeting an NFPA standard. Sometimes, these misrepresentations take the form of carefully worded statements that imply certification but unless the product is actually certified and listed by a qualified certification organization; it does not meet the standard. To have confidence that the PPE you select meets NFPA standards, the follow steps can be used: 1.

Since only a small portion of the actual products can be tested (most product tests are destructive), certification also includes mandatory quality assurance procedures to be used by the PPE manufacturer to ensure that each and every product they fabricate meets the requirements of the standard, not just those samples that are submitted for testing. Not only must manufacturers have in place quality assurance programs in place that are separately registered to ISO 9001 (a comprehensive quality assurance standard), manufacturing sites are also subject to periodic, unannounced audits by the certification organization, where quality practices are checked and samples may be selected for random testing. The certification organization has the right to withdraw their mark and the listing of the product at any time where the product does not continue to qualify to the requirements of the standard. Products that are certified are “listed” by the certification organization. This means that the certification organization maintains a list of the manufacturers and respective products meeting the each standard. One way to check on a product being certified is to go the website of the respective certification organization to determine if the particular models or styles of specific PPE are indeed listed as certified against a specific standard (for the two certification organizations indicated above, their websites are and www.seinet. org, respectively). Not any laboratory or organization can be a certification organization. The certification organization labs and their respective laboratories must be accredited to applicable certification and laboratory standards. A laboratory that can simply test a product cannot qualify for all requirements for a certification organization as defined by the NFPA standard. Certification organizations are obliged to investigate complaints of product performance. If problems with a specific item of PPE arise, end users should notify both the manufacturer and the certification organization. Such notifications are important because it helps to identify possible trends in problems, which may be occurring over a range of products or for a particular style or model. This information can then be used to apply corrections to the product or additional requirements to a particular standard can be proposed to address the issue. Manufacturers are required to maintain logs of customer complaints, which in turn are reviewed by the certification organizations. As comprehensive as the NFPA certification process is, it is not perfect. Abuses of the process can still happen, whether intentional or unintentional. In particular, there are no organizations that undertake the policing of the entire safety equipment market, such as the Food and Drug Administration does for drugs and medical devices. Legitimate certification organizations will vigorously monitor the proper use of their marks and will generally take steps




Check the product label to see if there is the mark of a certification organization. Contact that certification organization to ensure that the specific style or model you are using is listed and, is in fact, certified. This may be done on-line or by directly calling the certification organization. The certification organization will let you know if the specific product is certified If you cannot readily identify the certification organization, or have questions about the way the product is represented, contact the National Fire Protection Association (617-770-3000). The NFPA does not enforce certification, but they may be able to answer your questions, or at least point you in the right direction to find out if the product is certified. If you find that a product is not certified, but is making claims for certification, inform your state attorney general’s office. Misrepresentation of products is an offense that may be prosecutable and warrant action by the state attorney general office.

Certification has been established to help improve firefighter and emergency responder protection and to ensure the quality of PPE that is available for improved health and safety of fire responders. Recognizing certified products is essential to knowing the manufacturer is making appropriate claims against the NFPA standard and the product is delivering a minimum level of protection. FA FIRE AFRICA l January / February 2012




The second most stressful job in According to the 2012 Job Stress Report, an annual survey of 200 different professions that measures work environment, job competitiveness and risk, fire fighting has been listed as the second most stressful job. All five of the careers listed as the most stressful in report include on-the-job hazards. Listed as the top five, but in no particular order are: • Firefighters, who take on dangerous and complex fires often coming in contact with poisonous gases or other hazardous materials. • Airline Pilots, who face potential terrorist attacks and midair collisions. • Military Generals, who are responsible for the lives of many others and often work in hazardous, stressful environments. • Police Officers, who enforce laws and are tasked with catching criminals. The criteria used by researchers to determine the most and least stressful jobs include 11 different factors that invoke stress. Each factor was assigned a range of points, and a high score was given if it was a major part of the job, while fewer points were given if it wasn’t normally required. Jobs that are in dangerous settings, which have demanding deadlines or involve repetitive detailed work can increase stress levels, but stress is not limited to any particular job, industry, salary or education level. 2011 Jobs Rated Methodology In order to quantify and rank the many different aspects of all 200 jobs listed in the’s 10 Most Stressful Jobs of 2012 1. Enlisted Military Soldier 2. Firefighter 3. Airline Pilot 4. Military General 5. Police Officer 6. Event Coordinator 7. Public Relations 8. Executive Corporate Executive (Senior) 9. Photojournalist 10.Taxi Driver

FIRE AFRICA l January / February 2012


2011 Jobs Rated report, researchers reviewed various critical aspects of each profession to identify general categories that are inherent to every job: These were categorized into five “Core Criteria”: • Environment • Income • Outlook • Stress • Physical Demands Below is an explanation of how the company determined the rankings in each of these five Core Criteria. After each Core Criteria item was scored and ranked individually, they computed the Overall Rankings for each job, which are explained at the end of this methodology. Environment Environment Factors Jobs Rated calculates the Environment score for each job by measuring two basic factors common to every work environment: the physical and the emotional components. Points are assigned for every adverse working condition typically encountered, so the greater number of points that a job scores, the worse the rank. Conversely, the fewer points a job gets, the better it ranks. The following categories and points are used to rate the physical work environment: Physical Environment Factors The necessary energy component Physical demands (crawling, stooping bending, etc.) Work conditions (toxic fumes, noise, etc.) Physical environment extremes treated as negative scores Stamina required Degree of confinement Total Maximum Points = 50

Scoring Range 0-5 0-12 0-13 0-10 0-5 0-5

The following categories and points are used to rate the emotional work environment: Emotional Environment Factors Scoring Range Degree of competitiveness 0-15 Degree of hazards personally faced* 0-10 Degree of peril faced by others 0-8 Degree of contact with the public 0-8 Total Maximum Points = 41 * i.e. co-workers, customers including medical patients, outside stressful situations of all kinds, etc. Environment Ranking System The ranking system is designed so that the higher point totals reflect lower quality environments. After the raw scores are added together, they are mathematically adjusted to reflect average work-hours per week. This adjustment helps ensure the report recognizes jobs with excessive hours per week, and adjusts the scores of those professions accordingly. Point to-


Departments need to recognise the importance of stress reducing techniques for their staff due to the high stress levels involved in this career

tals are adjusted upward on a proportional scale, depending on the number of hours each job requires. In addition, this ranking system is designed to give approximately equal weight to the physical factors (with 50 maximum points) and emotional factors (with 41 maximum points). Because of this, a job with negative emotional conditions can easily rank just as low as one with poor physical conditions. For example, the relatively short work week for a Statistician (slightly less than 45 hours) helps the job score the fewest points in the Environment Rankings. With this low score of 89.520, a Statistician rises to number one in the Environment Rankings. In comparison, a Firefighter, with its very high scoring emotional component and grueling physical factors – including travel, confinement and very long hours – scored more than 3 300 points, the highest score, and therefore the job finished with the lowest rank in the Environment Rankings. Income The scores shown in the ranking tables might look like average incomes, but instead they are actually a derivative of mid-level incomes, and not the average income at all. Since all incomes shown in this table are estimates rounded to the nearest $1 000, there would be many ties if the mid-level income was the sole basis of the score. Instead, the income score was computed by adding the estimated mid-level income and the income growth potential. Below is an explanation of growth potential, and how it is computed in the scoring system: Growth Potential A Software Engineer with a starting salary of $55 000 could eventually earn $132 000, increasing their annual income by $77 000, which is 140 percent higher than their beginning pay. The Income Growth Potential for this job, therefore, is 140 percent. Adding this figure (140) to Software Engineers’ listed mid-level income, $87 000, nets a score of 87 140. Because the way that this score is expressed, it closely resembles an average dollar-denominated income, a dollar-sign is added to each Income score as an accommodation to those who want at-aglance estimates of average incomes. Using this system, the final Income score for Software Engineer is $87 140.

simply uses this figure as a whole number rather than a percent, and adds and subtracts several numbers to it that are derived from other pieces of data; one is a score for the degree of unemployment and the other is the multiple that one can increase one’s salary. Below is more on these additional factors. • Income Growth Potential: This refers to how much a worker can increase his or her income. See the subsection “Growth Potential” under Income for a detailed explanation. This score for Growth potential is then added to the employment growth score. • Unemployment: Unemployment data reflects estimates, mainly from the Department of Labor, for the third quarter, 2010, the latest available data. Below are five ranges of unemployment that were used in the scoring. Because unemployment is obviously a negative thing, a derivative of the unemployment rate of a particular job is subtracted from the sum of Employment Growth and Income Growth Potential. Below are the unemployment rankings. Listed after each range in parenthesis is the range of numbers that is subtracted from the sum of the Employment Growth and Income Growth Potential, depending on the degree of unemployment within each designation, which is shown at the far left of the table. Physical demands The Physical Factors The idea of measuring work has long fascinated physicists. They have even devised formulas for it. The Department of Labor has also developed ways of measuring the physical demands of work and, in part, this was used to formulate these rankings. One method they use is similar to that used by physicists. It relies on how much weight a person is normally required to lift on the job. Five categories are specified:

Outlook The Three Outlook Factors The ranking system used to evaluate Outlook awards higher scores to jobs with promising futures. Lower scores indicate a poorer outlook. Our ranking system considers three factors CONTINUED >>> for each occupation. These factors and the weights assigned to them in the ranking system are: Unemployment Data • Employment Growth: The “mega factor” for outlook, as defined here, is expected employment Very Low less than 1 percent - less than 4 percent (1-3) growth through the year 2018, as forecasted by the Low 4 percent - less than 7 percent (4-6) Department of Labor. It is expressed as a percentage Moderate 7 percent - less than 10 percent (7-9) increase in jobs in a particular career field during the High 10 percent - less than 14 percent (10-12) period, 2008-2018, which is the Department’s latest Very High 14 percent or higher (13-15) available estimate. The Jobs Rated ranking system FIRE AFRICA l January / February 2012





Physical Demands Categories Sedentary Work Light Work Medium Work Heavy Work Very Heavy Work

Requires the occasional lifting of 10lbs or less Requires lifting a maximum of 20lbs Requires lifting a maximum of 50lbs, but with frequent lifting of up to 25lbs Requires lifting a maximum of 100lbs Requires lifting in excess of 100lbs, with frequent lifting of 5lbs or more

The inability to deal with on-the-job stress could have a negative impact on an employee, a shift, a department or an entire station

But the federal government also considers other aspects of a job’s demands, such as whether the work is primarily indoors or outdoors, and whether or not it involves stooping, kneeling, climbing or balancing. Only when all these factors are considered together can the true physical demands of an occupation be determined. The ranking system for physical demands used in this report includes many of the elements measured by the Department of Labor. However, an important criterion is added: Overtime – that is, work time in excess of eight hours daily. After all, an executive working till 22:00 is likely as tired when he gets home as many construction workers who quit work at 17:00. The Ranking System In order to compute the Physical Demands of a job, the company awarded higher scores to jobs with greater Physical Demands and lower scores to jobs with lesser demands. We arrived at these scores by compiling data used by the U.S. Department of Labor. One point was awarded for each physical component of a job. These components include lifting, pulling, pushing, standing, walking, stooping, kneeling, crawling, climbing, crouching or reaching. Points were also awarded for hazards faced, exposure to various kinds of weather, the need for stamina and the work environment. One to five points was also added for each degree of lifting required based on the five categories previously mentioned, which range from 10 pound lifting at sedentary jobs to 100 pound lifting for very heavy work. One point was also added for each hour, or fraction thereof, that the average worker puts in that exceeds 40 hours per week. These determinations were based on U.S. Census data and sundry estimates provided by those familiar with the work habits of various professionals and tradespeople. The total number of points accumulated represents the score used to determine the rankings.

teria (Environment, Income, Outlook, Physical Demands and Stress) is equally important. Overall scores are derived by adding together the individual rank that each job has received in the five core categories. Because a high rank in an individual category means it is more desirable than a low rank, this ranking system translates to the lowest score being the most desirable. Therefore the lower the total score, the higher the Overall Ranking. For example, the top-ranked job in the Overall Rankings in 2011 is Software Engineer. Its Environment rank is 5, its Stress rank is 15, its Physical Demands rank is 12, its Outlook rank is 5 and its Income rank is 23. Cumulatively, these ranks total 60, rendering Software Engineer with the lowest score, which makes it the top rated job for 2011. The lowest ranked job is Roustabout (an oil field worker). Its Environment rank is 194, Income is 160 and so on. Cumulatively, the ranks of Roustabout total 892, the highest score in the Overall Rankings, putting it in the basement at number 200 out of all 200 jobs measured for 2011. FA

Stress The 11 stress factors The amount of stress a worker experiences can be predicted, in part, by looking at the typical demands and crises inherent in his or her job. The group’s ranking system for stress considers 11 different job demands which can reasonably be expected to evoke Stress Factors Scoring Range stress (see list below). Each demand is assigned a range of points. A high score is awarded if a particular demand is a major part of the job, fewer points are awarded if the demand Travel 0-10 Income ÷ 100 is a small part of the job, and no points are awarded if that demand is not normally Outlook/Growth Potential Deadlines 0-9 required. For example, “deadlines” was one demand measured. Journalists, who 0-5 often face daily deadlines, received the maximum of 9 points in this category. In Working in the Public Eye Competitiveness 0-15 contrast, barbers, who seldom face deadlines, received no points. The demands Physical Demands measured and the point ranges assigned to each area are as follows: 0-14 To compute a score for each occupation, points are added together for all 11 (stoop, climb, etc.) Environmental Conditions 0-13 categories. However, note that these scores reflect only a typical stress profile for Hazards Encountered 0-5 any given occupation. For any individual worker, stress can vary greatly depending Own Life at Risk 0-8 on the particular working conditions, his or her boss and co-workers, mental outLife of Another at Risk 0-10 look and a multitude of other factors which play a part in stress. Meeting the Public 0-8 Total Maximum Points = 97 + Outlook/ Overall rankings Overall Rankings refer to the sum of the rankings in each of the above five Core Crite- Growth Potential ria above. In the Overall Ranking system, it is assumed that each of the five Core CriFIRE AFRICA l January / February 2012


Games set to match





Other unique events may include: Advanced Life Support, Angling, Dragon Boat Racing, Canoeing, High Angle Rescue, Surfing, Touch / Flag Football, Vehicle Extrication, Water Skiing etc. Please refer to Host Country’s Registration Booklet. Games Statistics Daegu, South Korea Dates: 21 August to 29 August 2010 Participants: over 5 230 participants Countries: 46 Algeria, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Cambodia, Canada, Chinese Taipei, China, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Kuwait, Laos, Liberia, Malaysia, Mongol, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Palestine, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Reunion, Romania, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, United States of America, Venezuela Events: 75 Medal Standings: South Korea 1st; United Kingdom 2nd; Hong Kong 3rd; France 4th Liverpool, England Dates: 25 August to 3 September 2008 Participants: over 3 000 athletes; 200 supporters Countries: 46 Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, England, Finland, France, French Guyana, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Helsinki, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Isle of Man, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Malaysia, Malta, Netherlands, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Norway, Philippines, Poland, Reunion, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Scotland, Slovakia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Thailand, Tirol, United States of America, Venezuela, Wales Events: 74 Medal Standings: England 1st; France 2nd; Spain 3rd; Germany 4th CONTINUED >>> FIRE AFRICA l January / February 2012




Hong Kong, China Dates: 18 to 25 February 2006 Participants: approx 3 000 athletes; 500 supporters Countries: 37 Australia; Austria; Belgium; Bermuda; Brazil; Canada; China; Czech Republic; Finland; France; Germany; Gibraltar; Hong Kong, China; Hungary; Ireland; Italy; Japan; Macau; Malaysia; Mauritius;Netherlands; New Zealand; Norway; Philippines; Poland; Portugal; Romania; Russia; Singapore; Slovenia; South Africa; South Korea; Spain; Sweden; United Kingdom; United States, Venezuela Events: 59 Medal Standings: China 1st, United Kingdom 2nd, France 3rd, Australia 4th. Sheffield, England Dates: 28 August to 4 September 2004 Participants: over 2 500 athletes; 1 000 supporters Countries: 40 Afghanistan, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, England, Finland, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Ireland, Isle of Man, Italy, Japan, Korea-South, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Norway, Pakistan, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russian Federation, Scotland, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United States, Venezuela, Wales Events: 59 Medal Standings: England 1st; France 2nd; Spain 3rd; Hong Kong 4th

The perfect opportunity for inter-departmental networking

Christchurch, New Zealand Dates: 26 October to 2 November 2002 Participants: over 1 500 athletes; approx 500 visitors Countries: 30 Australia, Belgium, Bermuda, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, England, Fiji, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Republic of Korea, Reunion Island, Russia, Scotland, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tahiti, USA, Venezuela. Events: 58 Medal Standings: New Zealand 1st; France 2nd; Australia 3rd; Hong Kong 4th

FIRE AFRICA l January / February 2012

Firefighters and police form a brotherhood few outsiders understand Mantes, France Dates: 6 to 13 July 2000 Participants: over 4 000 athletes; plus 600 visitors Countries: 56 Algeria, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Benin, Bermuda, Brazil, Cameroon, Canada, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Estonia, Finland, France, Gabon, Germany, Greece, Guadeloupe, Guinee Conakry, Guyana, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Latvia, Liban, Luxembourg, Mauritania, Netherlands, New Zealand, Niger, Northern Ireland, Norway, Poland, Polynesia, Portugal, Reunion, Romania, Russia, Scotland, Senegal, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Togo, Tunsia, USA, Venezuela, Wales. Events: 61 Medal Standings: France 1st; Australia 2nd; England 3rd; Brazil 4th Durban, South Africa Dates: 17 to 23 May 1998 Participants: 1800 athletes; plus 500 supporters Countries:26 Austria, Australia, Belgium, Bermuda. Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, England, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Norway, South Africa, Scotland, South Korea, Sweden, USA. Events: 55 Medal Standings: South Africa 1st; France 2nd; England 3rd; Australia 4th Edmonton, Canada Dates: 28 July to 3 Aug 1996 Participants: 2 300 athletes; plus 1 500 supporters Countries: 25 Austria, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, England, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, Scotland, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, USA, Wales Events: 54 Medal Standings: Canada 1st; Australia 2nd; USA 3rd; NZ 4th

Perth, Western Australia Dates: 20 to 26 March 1994 Participants: 2 000 athletes; approx 1 000 supporters Countries: 21 Australia, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Japan, Latvia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Russia, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, Taipai, United Kingdom (incl England, Scotland & Wales), USA Events: 48 Medal Standings: Australia 1st; New Zealand 2nd; USA 3rd; UK 4th Las Vegas, USA Dates: 16 to 22 May 1992 Participants: 4 000 athletes; approx 14 000 supporters & spectators Countries: 22 Argentina, Austria, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden, Taiwan, Uzbekistan, United Kingdom, USA Events: 45 Medal Standings: USA 1st; Australia 2nd; New Zealand 3rd; Canada 4th Auckland, NEW ZEALAND Dates: 22 to 29 April, 1990 Participants: 1 800 Athletes, approx. 1 400 supporters Countries: 17 Australia, Belgium, Bermuda, Canada, England, Finland, France, Hong Kong, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Solomon Islands, Sweden; Switzerland, Trinidad & Tobago, USA, Western Samoa Events: 34 Medal Standings: New Zealand 1st; Australia 2nd; England 3rd; Hong Kong 4th. FA

What we perceive as brave or courageous is simply â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;another dayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; at the office for firefighters and police officers. Perhaps society should confer the respect deserved to these individuals


Join in on the

huge rescue


2 Corinthians 1:11 [Message] You and your prayers are part of the rescue operation – I don’t want you in the dark about that either. I can see your faces even now, lifted in praise for God’s deliverance of us, a rescue in which your prayers played such a crucial part.

Allow God to speak into your life

By: Pastor Harold Weitz

Ephesians 6:18 [Message] In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out. Prayer can be a great and glorious exercise or a boring and mundane practice. Few people really step into the fullness that God has ordained for everyone. Satan has tried his level best to keep the Body of Christ away from this powerful discovery, but you are now equipped and ready to take on the forces of hell if needs be and pray down the will of God into your life, your family’s life and your nation. The Bible so aptly refers to prayer as a rescue operation (and I would particularly bear intercessory prayer in mind) saving those we love and those the Lord has given us a burden for. It’s a spiritual growth process – the more we pray, the more experience we accumulate. It exercises our spiritual faith muscles daily and we grow and go from strength to strength. The Apostle Peter expressed it so effectively: • 2 Peter 1: 5-7 [NLT] In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self control, and self control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone. The hallmark of successful Christians through the ages is that they were consistent prayer warriors. Many years ago I encouraged our Church members to start prayer cells in their homes, work places or wherever they found it possible. This was just to remain a small group of people who would gather for prayer and multiply if it grew too large. Before long, we had over 380 prayer cells. This prayer action had such a powerful impact on the spiritual level in the Church and in the community. Bi-monthly we put out ‘spiritual job cards’ encouraging everyone to pray from the same accompanying scriptures. We cover all areas of need from personal to national. Although it is a local Church action, people from all denominational backgrounds are involved and are being knitted together in unity through this powerful prayer action. Through the years I have seen that the believers who are involved in prayer cells and who are always at the prayer meetings seldom need counsel and are always ready to come to the aid of others. They have learnt to ‘lock in the Father’s heart’ and their trust and faith is strong because of their constant and faithful prayer lives. I once heard someone say, “You don’t need counselling, all you need is a bottle of water and a prayer room.” It is in the ‘secret place’ that battles are fought and won. Intercessors seldom make mistakes for they have learnt to hear the voice of the Good Shepherd. I hope that you have developed the habit to journal your thoughts and also the thoughts that the Holy Spirit has imparted to you. It is important to

record your prayers and the scriptures that the Lord has given you. More importantly, you should record the answers to these prayers and victories you have experienced on your prayer journey. It is these victories that often carry us through the hard times. When we reflect on all the Lord has done, we have hope to tackle any situation that the enemy may hurl our way. Godly leaders are born, shaped and prepared in the prayer room and nowhere else. You can recognise prayerless leaders through their sayings and doings. Make a sincere and deliberate decision to not neglect your times with the Lord. Daniel fasted 21 days, but that does not mean he never prayed again. Moses, after his mountain experience, still sought the Lord for he knew where his strength and power came from. Paul gave us a wonderful foundation for a steadfast and committed prayer life and he never taught what he himself did not practice. All three of these men had lifestyles of prayer. Underline and cling to the promises that God has given you in your Bible and insert dates next to these promises. Gather them like golden nuggets for the day that you have to apply them in your prayer life. Remember that your faith is based on God’s Word and empowered by the anointing of the Holy Spirit. When you pray and confess these promises, you activate and release the answers and solutions in the spiritual dimension. FA FIRE AFRICA l January / February 2012




Msukaligwaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s newest addition The Pierce PUC, recently supplied to the Msukaligwa fire department, is a multipurpose response vehicle.

It has a custom Pierce Contender chassis cab, with seating for six people. The cab meets, and even exceeds, several safety regulations such as; ECE 29, SAE J2422 and SAE J2420. The vehicle features a 3 800L water tank, which is backed by a lifetime warranty. The aluminium superstructure has full height, rescue-style compartments. The PUC has an Allison EVS-3000PR electronic transmission and a Cummins ISL engine developing 298kW. The pump is rated to pump 577L/min, at a pressure of 10bar. There is also a Pierce Husky automatic foam system, linked to a 151L Class A foam tank. FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: +27 (0) 11 894 3205

BUFFALO Zetros 6x6

Boundless rescuing

The eDRAULIC range of vehicle extraction rescue tools exploit advanced electro-hydraulic technology. This allows them to operate from battery power alone, or by cable power. eDRAULIC tools are significantly lighter, and more compact, than their traditional counterparts. Battery operation makes it possible to function where cabled power outlets are scarce, such as off-road accidents.

The Rosenbauer Zetros 6x6 ARFF vehicle is highly recognised as an international aid organisation vehicle and it is air transportable. The chassis is a Mercedes Benz 2733A/6x6/47 BB Zetros. The extinguishing agents include a 6 100 I water tank and a 750 I foam tank. The unit has a Rosenbauer RM25C roof turret and a Rosenbauer RM15C front turret, which are both remote controlled. Special features include air transportability, for rescue operations in crisis zones, with pump and roll operation.

Powerful lithium-ion batteries are strong enough for the tools to overcome modern vehicle construction technology. One battery type is used for the entire range, and switching from cable to battery operation is quick. When working at night, an LED light illuminates the work area.



Affordable breathing apparatus The AirXpress range is a cost effect, self-contained breathing apparatus solution, that doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t compromise safety. The range is available in two configurations; AirXpress Industrial and AirXpress Fire. They both feature a shock-resistant gauge and a warning signal. For efficient inventory management, transponders are integrated into the units. Air lines are positioned close to the back plate for swing-free operation. The ergonomically designed carrier is made from glass fibre reinforced polyamide, allowing it to endure high heat and flames. AirXpress units have valves with a positive pressure plug connector; these connect directly to the first-stage pressure reducer. FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: +27 (0) 11 610 2600

Versatile municipal vehicle The Unimog is a versatile vehicle, ideal for performing many municipal response jobs. The Unimog range consists of three variants; the U 300, U 400 and U 500. All models provide good all-round visibility for the driver. The cabin has a good ergonomic design, with features such as vibration protection for the driver. The Unimog is clearly visible to following traffic; with four rear lights, two blinkers, two reversing lights, two reflectors, one rear fog light and two braking lights. The vehicle has four-channel Anti-Lock Brakes, which ensures it can steer even under emergency braking. FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: +27 (0) 800 133 355

FIRE AFRICA l January / February 2012










FIRE AFRICA l January / February 2012

Last Word


Managing EMS â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Double, double, toil and trouble; Fire burn and cauldron bubble.â&#x20AC;&#x2122;- Macbeth By: Rory Macnamara One is tempted to ask why there is yet another publication to serve another sector and why all the different aspects are lumped together. The questions are apt and deserving of an answer. The Emergency Services sector is an extremely broad topic and it is for this very reason that we play on the word FIRE. It is, however, essential to see the whole picture - which is the management and co-ordination of FireIncident-Rescue- Emergency. The witches of Macbeth fame certainly had powers to foresee the future as well as whole lot more. These witches of Macbeth fame had need of only a fire to produce their spells and as such, it was controlled. However, did they have suitable protection should Macbeth have kicked over the fire and created an incident? Did they have an effective emergency procedure in place? Were there sufficient signs up and suitable standards in place? Was there a trained and certified safety officer on the premises? And finally, was the rescue team ready and did all staff members know the contact number for said rescue team? Rory Macnamara, Publisher

There is no single aspect of this sector that can be justifiably isolated. Emergency Services has to be seen holistically and this is what FIRE Africa will do. It will cover all aspects of EMS, appreciating the essential and critical roles played by each part of the service provision. It will cover the interests of all the bodies serving the EMS. Whilst the publication is the official journal of SAESI, as the leading Institute, this will not limit the coverage of good work being done by other bodies - as long as it is in keeping with the national standards and regulations of the country. There is an entire sector devoted to the protection of the South African population. It is our aim to represent these brave folk who selflessly dedicated their lives to the protection of us, the ordinary man-on-the-street. When we are hurt, in trouble or face a natural disaster, it is these unsung and often unappreciated individuals that we call upon. FIRE AFRICA will not only focus on these guardian angels, we shall also examine the equipment they use, showcase latest technological developments and bring various stakeholders together for the betterment of the industry as a whole. The first issue, which you hold, is proof of our intention. FA

FIRE AFRICA l January / February 2012

FIRE Africa Jan/Feb 2012  

Our first issue of FIRE Africa is full of exciting and informative content for you, our readers. We take a journey through the history of fi...