Tribute to Fire Fighters

A Councillor from the City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality (JHB) who has been holidaying in Wilderness since last week Friday, 16th June, was so shocked by the devastation of the past month’s disasters in Knysna and Plettenberg Bay and elated by the stellar job the local firefighters have done, that she decided to give all the local Fire Brigades a special framed tribute in gratitude for their selfless work.

Here Cllr Sarah Wissler from the City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality hands a tribute to Executive Mayor of George, Aldm Melvin Naik for the excellent job done by George Firefighters in Knysna and Bitou. The Mayor is flanked by Cllr Cecil Noble, Portfolio Councillor for Community Safety and Security and Mr Neels Barnard, Fire Chief: George. The tribute reads: Department of Public Safety: In remembrance of those brave men and women of Public Safety in Knysna and surrounding areas who fought the blaze for days and for those who lost their lives trying to save residents, animals and homes. We will never forget June 2017. Presented by Department of Public Safety City of Johannesburg. A quote at the bottom reads: “I survived because the fire inside me burned brighter than the fire around me”– Joshua Graham. The photos displayed with the tribute are by Eyewitness News

Cllr Sarah Wissler, who serves in stakeholder relations for public safety portfolio in the Johannesburg Council came to visit the Mayor Melvin Naik in George yesterday to hand him the tribute that was specially framed for the occasion. She also handed the same tributes to the Municipalities of Knysna and Bitou.

“You know one do not see everything on tv. As my family and I drove through the area we only realised how bad the situation is. You must see for yourself. I am also in awe of what the firefighters achieved,” Wissler said. It is then that she decided with the Mayco Member for Public Safety in the JHB Metro, Cllr Michael Sun, to pay tribute to the firefighters.

Wissler says firefighters are very close to her heart. “We run away from danger but these people run into danger to help others.” She says in Johannesburg Metro there are 28 fire stations and they are working on a project now to get a Netcare bed at each fire station to make the service even more effective.

Mayor Naik thanked the Cllr Wissler for the appreciation and recognition of the work done by the George Fire Brigade after the disasters that hit Knysna and Bitou the past month. “I am proud of the excellent service delivery by our officials.”

Cllr Cecil Noble, Portfolio Councillor for Community Safety and Security sincerely thanked Cllr Wissler for her service to the Community and the Fire Brigade for their outstanding service.

He says where volunteers have lost their lives and where the firefighters put their lives in danger for others daily, is an unselfish gesture and evidence of caring, passion and love.

Mr Neels Barnard, Fire Chief: George also thanked Cllr Wissler for this kind deed of appreciation, respect and admiration. “The recent events and devastating fires in Knysna and surroundings will be remembered as one of the most tragic events in the history of Fire Services in the country,” Barnard said.

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